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The State Department has decided it will not reopen an investigation into who deleted eight minutes of footage from its public video archives.
The deleted footage is of an exchange between Fox News’ James Rosen and former State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki over an allegedly false statement her predecessor Victoria Nuland made regarding the nuclear negotiations with Iran. Psaki is currently a senior White House communications director.
“There are times where diplomacy needs privacy in order to progress. This is a good example of that,” Psaki told Rosen in the now deleted footage.
State Department spokesman Mark Toner told reporters there was nothing more it could do to get to the bottom of who deleted the footage and why, The Hill reported.
“We believe we have conducted an inquiry into this incident,” Toner told reporters on Friday.
“We have exhausted our efforts to look into the incident and responsibility,” he added.
Rosen discovered the question and answer was deleted when he searched the State Department’s public archives looking for it.
At first the department said the missing footage was the result of a “glitch” but later admitted the video was intentionally edited by request.
House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce, R-Cali., asked State Department Inspector General Steve Linickto look into the deletion on Friday, according to the Washington Free Beacon.
“In tampering with this video, the Bureau of Public Affairs has undermined its mission to ‘communicate timely and accurate information with the goal of furthering U.S. foreign policy,’” he wrote in a letter to Linick. “This is all the more troubling given that the video in question dealt with hugely consequential nuclear negotiations with the Islamic Republic of Iran.”
On Friday Secretary of State John Kerry said whoever requested the video be edited was “stupid and clumsy and inappropriate” and said he also “would like to find out exactly what happened and why.”
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