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Just like that… they were gone.
The White House is under scrutiny for strategically scratching a highly convenient – for them – part of a video transcript.
On May 9, Fox News reporter Kevin Corke asked White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest if the Obama administration could say it never lied to the public about details surrounding the Iran Nuclear deal.
At the time, Earnest said the administration couldn’t, and as BPR reported, the encounter was described as an “incredible moment.”
The transcript went like this:
Corke: Can you state categorically that no senior official in this administration has ever lied publicly about any aspect of the Iran nuclear deal?”
Earnest: No, Kevin.
It can be viewed in the following video:
— Charlie Spiering (@charliespiering) May 9, 2016
ABC News is reporting that the words “No, Kevin” have been omitted from the official White House transcript. While those two crucial words remain in the video on the White House’s own YouTube page, they do not appear in the on-screen captioning, ABC reported.
ABC news reported:
A White House official told ABC News today that the line was not included because it was inaudible. Asked if the White House would update the transcript with Earnest actually said, this official said the White House “would only change the answer if there was an answer to change.”
On Monday, Wall Street Journal reporter Byron Tau confronted Earnest with ABC’s findings, The Daily Caller reported.
“ABC reported over the weekend that the White House scratched a line from a briefing transcript because reportedly you said it was ‘inaudible.’ I was in that briefing and I recall the question and it seemed pretty audible to me, the video also makes it pretty clear, I heard what was being said,’ Tau said.
He then asked if the White House planned to restore the line.
Earnest got busy deflecting the question.
“I don’t think it’s fair for you to say that they were scratched. I don’t think that’s an accurate thing.”
Earnest also tried to distance the White House’s strategic edits from the State Department that recently admitted to deliberately deleting damning video footage pertaining to the Iran Deal.
“I think it’s important to know the distinction there between what was apparently an effort at the State Department to make a specific decision to remove a portion of the video– that’s obviously something that I’ve said is inconsistent with what you’d expect the whole goal of engaging in a public briefing. The situation that you’re citing is related to a specific issue with a transcript that relates to two words so I think you’d be hard pressed to make the case that there’s a link between the two.”
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