The most transparent administration ever, right?
President Obama press advisor Jen Psaki attacked Fox News after reporter James Rosen asked for clarification over her statement about deleted footage from a 2013 press briefing about secret Iran and U.S. talks.
Rosen asked then-State spokeswoman Psaki about the meeting in 2013, a year after the department denied such talks existed. Psaki admitted they took place, but Rosen found someone deleted his questions from the old video:
The department acknowledged Wednesday that several minutes of video from the 2013 briefing – at which then-State Department spokeswoman Psaki appeared to acknowledge misleading the press over the Iran nuclear deal – had been intentionally cut. The order apparently came from an official in the public affairs office, but that individual has not been identified.
Fox News published their complete email exchange, where Psaki berates Rosen for politely asking for an explanation after Psaki referred to the transcript and not the video.
Some have pointed to a certain aspect of your statement, highlighted below, as not removing yourself from consideration for having issued the order to edit the briefing video:
I had no knowledge of nor would I have approved of any form of editing or cutting my briefing transcript on any subject while at the State Department. I believe deeply in providing the press as much information on important issues as possible.
Of course, as Liz Trudeau and others have stressed, the briefing transcript remained unaltered the entire time. Do you want to issue a revised statement, asserting the same for the video, which was altered?
Forgive me if you have already put out something along these lines and I missed it.
My statement applies to the video which is considered a form of the transcript and every aspect of this.
I understand it is inconvenient for you that I have nothing to do with this given you have spent the last three weeks vilifying me on television without any evidence of my knowledge or involvement and without once reaching out and asking me, but I would encourage you to also ask the State Department if there is any evidence. A shred or any information at all that suggests I had any knowledge of this or any connection to this on any level. Hopefully you will find the time to spend on the range of global events happening in the world in between attacking my character.
Consider that on the record from me as well
As one can quickly tell, Rosen never attacked Psaki’s character or even implied she had anything to do with the doctored footage.
In December 2013, then-State spokeswoman Psaki “admitted the administration lied in order to protect the secret negotiations.” But this month, Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes said someone changed the video to show the public no such question took place.
State Department spokesman John Kirby said someone asked another person to remove the footage, but does not know the people involved:
Another senior State Department official said the technician found the request “unusual” and consulted her supervisor before making the edit. The supervisor, who also could not remember the name of the person who called, approved the request because it came from someone “from a certain level and credibility” in the Department of Public Affairs.
“Although this person did not remember the person who called her, or the person they were calling on behalf of, she remembers it was not (Jen) Psaki,” this official said. “Jen did not request it, did not know about it and had nothing to do with it.”
Kirby also said this is the first time he knows of this happening and could not find any rules within the Bureau of Public Affairs about “this type of action.” But this issue has changed their minds and they are now “taking immediate steps to craft appropriate protocols on this issue, as we believe that deliberately removing a portion of the video was not and is not in keeping with the State Department’s commitment to transparency and public accountability.”DONATE
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