Townhall editor Guy Benson said Saturday the State Department is not interested in uncovering the truth after video of an exchange on the Iran deal during a press briefing was mysteriously deleted.
“They don’t want answers,” he said.
Benson argued there are still two key unanswered questions related to the deletion:
1. How many other times has this State Department or the administration, more broadly, deleted video that was perhaps inconvenient for them politically?
2. Who ordered this deletion?
“Someone did it,” he added. “They can find out who did it. They don’t want to. The dead-end was reached in five minutes.”
Earlier this week, the State Department said the deleted question-and-answer exchange between a reporter and then-spokeswoman Jen Psaki had been deliberately edited and was not a technical glitch as it had first suggested. However, it said the technician who edited the video couldn't remember the name of the official who asked for the edit. A department official said on Friday that Psaki, who has denied any knowledge of the edit, did not make the request.
During the briefing in question, a reporter asked Psaki, now the White House communications director, about the State Department's denial earlier that year of secret talks between Washington and Tehran. Those discussions, which were revealed by The Associated Press and other media in the week before the briefing, had occurred periodically and eventually led to a breakthrough, seven-nation nuclear deal.
The reporter, Fox News' James Rosen, referenced an earlier Feb. 6, 2013, briefing in which State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said there were no intermittent conversations between Obama administration and Iranian officials outside of larger multinational gatherings. Nuland has said she didn't know about the talks at the time she denied they were happening. Rosen asked Psaki if Nuland had been speaking truthfully or if it was acceptable to lie to protect the secrecy of the secret talks.
Psaki responded: "There are times where diplomacy needs privacy. This is a good example of that."