On Wednesday, the State Department acknowledged that part of a 2013 press briefing was edited on the department's YouTube page to remove a question and answer about secret negotiations with Iran. Three weeks ago, when Fox News flagged the edit, State Department spokeswoman Elizabeth Trudeau had said "we think it was a glitch," adding that "when Fox flagged it for us, we actually replaced it" with video from another source. But Wednesday evening, spokesman John Kirby said that after he asked the Office of the Legal Adviser to look into the edit, officials "learned that a specific request was made to excise that portion of the briefing. We do not know who made the request to edit the video, or why it was made."
In the December 2013 press briefing, Fox News' James Rosen had asked then-spokeswoman Jen Psaki if the State Department ever lied to keep secret negations secret, and she replied: "James, I think there are times where diplomacy needs privacy in order to progress. This is a good example of that." The question had to do with when the Obama administration began its covert negotiations with Iran over curbing its nuclear weapons program. The State Department's transcript of the briefing was not altered. "There were no rules in place at the time to govern this sort of action, so while I believe it was an inappropriate step to take, I see little foundation for pressing forward with a formal investigation," Kirby said. He said the State Department is enacting new rules to make it harder to alter video.
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