State Department spokesman John Kirby went on Fox News' "Fox & Friends" Thursday morning to personally thank the network and chief Washington correspondent James Rosen for unearthing the fact that a press briefing had been edited to remove a damning admission.
Earlier this month, Rosen unintentionally discovered that the State Department had removed a video of a December 2013 briefing during which Rosen said then-spokesman Jen Psaki "lied" to him, saying there were "no" secret talks going on with Iran.
During his appearance Thursday, Kirby confirmed that the removal was done intentionally and not a "glitch," as originally claimed. But before he delved into the details of the ordeal, the State Department official extended gratitude to Rosen.
"Before I answer your question," Kirby said, "I want to thank James Rosen, your correspondent, for bringing this to my attention. Because if he hadn’t a couple of weeks ago I would have never known this occurred."
"So first of all, kudos to him," he added. "And he’s a journalist I have great respect for, so I thank him for that."
Kirby went on to say he is "not afraid" to look into this issue further, if necessary, and that he has told his staff that, moving forward, "this is not how we behave" in the State Department. He told the "Fox & Friends" team that there is now a "policy in place" that will prevent such an event from occurring in the future.
He also sought to quell any speculation that the current State Department leadership was hoping to hide the development.
"There is no cover-up," Kirby insisted. "Not at all. And I think you guys know me well enough to know that I would never abide by any such thing."
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