The US State Department today admitted to deleting several minutes of the video of a 2013 press briefing related to the Iran nuclear talks, saying it was the result of a “specific request to excise that portion of the briefing,” but declining to say who ordered the deletion or why.
The text transcript of the December 2, 2013 briefing remains unaltered, during which Fox News’ James Rosen asked Jen Psaki about a February claim by Victoria Nuland that “no direct, secret talks” were underway between the US and Iran. Nuland had insisted that there were no talks, with Psaki would only say that “there are time where diplomacy needs privacy in order to progress.”
The entire exchange between Rosen and Psaki is, in the video transcript, replaced with a white flash effect. This was initially discovered recently, though at the time the State Department had claimed it was a “technical glitch.”
State Department spokesman John Kirby today admitted the glitch explanation was a lie, and that the deletion was “deliberate,” saying that there are “no rules or regulations in place” that prevent the State Department from making such edits, and suggesting that someone in the public affairs bureau had ordered it done for some unknown reason.
Kirby says that since the deletion was discovered, he has ordered the video restored to its original version. Jen Psaki, now the White House Communications Director, insists she has “no knowledge” of the deletion and would not have asked for the deletion herself.