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Obama State Department Admits Intentionally Deleting Key Portion of Iran Briefing – We're Demanding the Truth


Jay Sekulow

June 1, 2016

3 min read

Executive Power



The ACLJ acted to get to the bottom of further deception from the Obama Administration, and today they admitted that they were wrong and we were right.

Fox News has more:

The State Department, in a stunning admission, acknowledged Wednesday that officials intentionally deleted several minutes of video footage from a 2013 press briefing, where a top spokeswoman seemed to acknowledge misleading the press over the Iran nuclear deal.

“There was a deliberate request, this was not a glitch,” State Department official John Kirby acknowledged on Wednesday, adding they don’t know who made the request. . . .

But on Wednesday, current State Department spokesman Kirby said a public affairs official requested the removal the same day as that briefing. He said he didn't know who specifically asked or why.

Kirby said there were “no rules [or] regulations in place that prohibited” this at the time, but said the deletion was not in keeping with the department’s commitment to transparency.

Early last month, Fox News chief Washington correspondent James Rosen reported that the Obama Administration’s State Department deleted an official portion of video containing the spokesperson’s acknowledgement that the Obama Administration lied to the American people about when it began secret negotiations with Iran regarding what resulted in the devastating nuclear “deal.”

We had James Rosen on Jay Sekulow Live, and we continued to investigate the story.

As I reported last month,

When viewing the video, at about the 26:56 mark, you will notice the “white flash” – a well-known and oft-used transition edit.

But according to the State Department press office director Elizabeth Trudeau:  “There was a glitch.” Not convinced? No, seriously:  “Genuinely we think it was a glitch.”

Our media team at the ACLJ has reviewed the tape. It was not a “glitch.” It was an intentionally placed edit in the video – a deletion of eight minutes of tape unflattering to the Administration’s narrative.

The ACLJ quickly moved to submit official Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests to the U.S. Department of State to get to the bottom of what happened here.

Now a spokesman for the State Department has finally admitted what we knew all along -- the deletion of a key portion of this briefing was not a “glitch” as the State Department first claimed; it was intentional.  The Administration admitted that “a specific request was made to excise that portion of the briefing.”

But then the State Department went on to explain, “We do not know who made the request to edit the video, or why it was made. . . . 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."

That’s unacceptable.  The American people were lied to about the most critical diplomatic negotiations in decades.  They deserve answers.

We’re holding the Obama Administration’s feet to the fire.  We sent our FOIA Request to the State Department nearly three weeks ago demanding to know exactly who ordered that the video be edited, what chain of command that order went through, and why it was edited.

The law requires that the Administration reveal this information to the public.  We anticipate a response to our legal inquiry in just days.  We will get to the truth.  And if the Administration refuses to comply with federal laws requiring transparency, we’ll take them to federal court.

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