State Department: We Don’t Know How Many Other Videos May Have Been Edited

• June 2, 2016 10:16 am


State Department spokesman John Kirby could not say Thursday how many other videos may have been edited from the public record in wake of his admission that the agency deliberately deleted a segment of a 2013 press briefing demonstrating possible deceit over the Iran nuclear deal.

Fox & Friends co-host Tucker Carlson, noting that Fox News reporter James Rosen happened across the video deletion by happenstance, asked Kirby how many other briefing videos might have been edited by the State Department in the past.

"Have you looked into that? Is there a full investigation into that?" Kirby asked.

"No, there's not, Tucker," Kirby said. "The short answer to your question is I don't know, and I don't know that there's any way that I can know. I just don't have the time or the resources, the manpower, to go back and look at every single press briefing over the last three, four years, and I don't know that would be a useful use of taxpayer dollars."

Kirby, a decorated retired Rear Admiral, said from the podium Wednesday that the department had purposefully excised a portion of a December 2013 briefing involving an exchange between Rosen and spokeswoman Jen Psaki. Psaki appeared to acknowledge another spokeswoman had lied to Rosen about negotiations with Iran over its nuclear program, in the name of "privacy."

Kirby launched an investigation when the whitewashing was pointed out by Rosen. Another State Department spokesman said last month that the deletion was merely a "glitch," but Kirby's admission Wednesday demonstrated that was a clear lie. He couldn't say Thursday whether the woman responsible for the excision had deleted other video portions.

"I can't really talk about the details of the discussion that was had with her, because it was done through our Office of the Legal Adviser," Kirby said. "Our focus was really on this particular instance, and making sure that we tried to go as far as we could knowing what happened in this particular case."

He repeated his claim from Wednesday that the woman responsible for the edit did not remember who ordered her to do it, but the Fox hosts were skeptical.

"Why couldn't she remember? If she remembers deleting it, why doesn't she remember who gave her that direction?" co-host Ainsley Earhardt asked.

"Because there's only a few people that could give that—have the power to edit out the record," Brian Kilmeade added.

"Look, I was as curious about this as you were and as James was," Kirby said. "I took this very seriously. I can't speak for the memory of this individual. This happened three years ago, and I just can't speak for what she remembered or she didn't remember. All she remembered was that it was … the caller was passing on a request from somebody else in my bureau, in the Public Affairs bureau, and again, we don't find that acceptable."