State Department spokesman John Kirby today said that he was “very concerned” about the disappearance of video from a December 2013 briefing in which Fox News reporter James Rosen pressed then-spokeswoman Jen Psaki about the administration’s messaging regarding negotiations with Iran. About eight minutes of discussion, Rosen reported, mysteriously disappeared from the State Department’s site and from the agency’s YouTube page. In its place was a simple white flash.
“I say this as not just a spokesman for the department, but as the assistant secretary of state for public affairs — that I’m very concerned by this. And I have every intention of making sure that we look into it thoroughly and try to get answers as best we can about what happened here,” said Kirby.
The vanished video has a complicated provenance. The short story: Rosen in February 2013 asked then-spokeswoman Victoria Nuland whether the United States was carrying on bilateral discussions with Iran and was told no. Ten months later, after it became clear that such discussions had indeed taken place, he asked Psaki this question:
QUESTION: Is it the policy of the State Department, where the preservation or the secrecy of secret negotiations is concerned, to lie in order to achieve that goal?
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