Spokesman John Kirby called a State Department staffer’s decision to edit a video from a December 2013 press briefing discussing negotiations between the Obama administration and Iran “inappropriate.”
Appearing on Fox News’s “Fox & Friends” on Thursday, Kirby said that he doesn’t know if the State Department deliberately edited other videos as well. (RELATED: State Dept. Official Took ‘Deliberate Steps’ To Delete Video From Iran Press Briefing)
Kirby began his interview thanking Fox News correspondent James Rosen for discovering the edit. The retired admiral said, “Because if [Rosen] hadn’t a couple of weeks ago, I would have never known that this occurred. So first of all, kudos to him. He’s a journalist that I have great respect for, so I thank him for that.”
“We took it seriously and we did talk to the technician who was on duty that day and who was asked to make this cut,” Kirby said. “And the call that came into her was actually a call from someone else passing on a request from another official so it was two removed.”
“Now, if additional information comes into light that’s going to compel me to go into more detail or to look at it more further, I’ll do that. I’m not afraid to do that at all,” he continued. “What I said to my staff yesterday was this was inappropriate, this isn’t the way we’re going to behave, and what I’m focused on now is I’m going to put a policy — actually, did it a yesterday.”
“There’s a policy in place that will prevent this from happening again. The other thing I do want to say just real quickly is that this video that was edited was the video that we put on the YouTube channel,” Kirby said. “There was still a full video of it existing on another official website — the Defense Video Information website, as well as, the transcript the written transcript was never edited. So the only one that was — and I’m not mitigating this and I’m not making excuses. The only one that was edited was the one that went on the YouTube channel.”
“Fox & Friends” co-host and Daily Caller editor in chief Tucker Carlson then asked if the State Department is investigating whether other videos have been edited.
Kirby replied, “No, there’s not. The short answer to your question is I don’t know. I don’t know that there is any way I can know I just don’t have the time or the resources, the manpower to go back and look at every press briefing over the last three to four years, and I don’t know that would be a useful use of taxpayer dollars. What I can tell you is I’m focused on going forward and going forward, this kind of thing will never happen again.”