White House press secretary Josh Earnest refused to admit the Obama administration “scratched” the transcript of the White House briefing on the Iran nuclear agreement.
In May, Fox News’s Kevin Corke asked Earnest, “Can you state categorically that no senior official in this administration has ever lied publicly about any aspect of the Iran nuclear deal?” (RELATED: White House Whitewashes Press Briefing Answer On Lying About Iran Deal)
Earnest can be heard replying, “No, Kevin.” However, in the official transcript, the words “No, Kevin” are not included.
Monday during the White House daily briefing, Wall Street Journal reporter Byron Tau said, “ABC reported over the weekend that the White House scratched a line from a briefing transcript because reportedly you said it was ‘inaudible.’ I was in that briefing and I recall the question and it seemed pretty audible to me, the video also makes it pretty clear, I heard what was being said. Is the White House going to restore that line?” (WATCH: Here’s The Moment The White House Admitted They Lied About The Iran Nuclear Deal)
Earnest replied, “Well, Byron, I think what was true at the time is that there was a little cross-talk and fortunately your conscientious colleagues at ABC News recognizing the discrepancy asked me about it the next day.”
Later during Monday’s press briefing, Earnest took issue with Tau’s use of the word “scratched,” claiming, “I don’t think it’s fair for you to say that they were scratched. I don’t think that’s an accurate thing.”
When confronted with the State Department’s editing of their briefing video on the Iran nuclear agreement, Earnest said, “I think it’s important to know the distinction there between what was apparently an effort at the State Department to make a specific decision to remove a portion of the video– that’s obviously something that I’ve said is inconsistent with what you’d expect the whole goal of engaging in a public briefing. The situation that you’re citing is related to a specific issue with a transcript that relates to two words so I think you’d be hard pressed to make the case that there’s a link between the two.” (RELATED: State Dept. Official Took ‘Deliberate Steps’ To Delete Video From Iran Press Briefing)
— Charlie Spiering (@charliespiering) May 9, 2016