Well, this is awkward. Only one day after White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest confidently claimed that the White House press shop would never selectively edit something without his approval, the White House press shop was accused of selectively editing a transcript. The only question is whether it was done with or without his approval.
ABC News broke this story late Friday night:
In the wake of the admission from the State Department that it intentionally edited and deleted video from an archived press briefing to hide statements it made about the nuclear negotiations with Iran, ABC News has found that the White House has recently omitted a line from a transcript of a May 9 briefing that also involved questions from Fox News about Iran.
The question from Fox News reporter Kevin Corke went like this, according to ABC News’ own recording of the briefing:
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.
However, the words “No, Kevin” never made it into the official White House transcript. Instead it picked up with the rest of Earnest’s response, comments about how the White House believes the deal has made America safer.
But, Earnest’s full answer can be heard in the White House’s own video, posted on its YouTube page, although it is not included in the on-screen captioning. The exchange occurs exactly one hour into the briefing.
It bears repeating: Earnest’s rare moment of honesty—his admission (“no, Kevin”) that he couldn’t “state categorically that no senior official in this administration has ever lied publicly about any aspect of the Iran nuclear deal,”—was left out of the official White House transcript:
According to ABC, Corke asked the question again later on in the same briefing, “giving Earnest the opportunity to answer in a different way.” This time he gave a slicker answer, saying there was “no evidence anyone had lied about the nuclear deal.”
When asked about the omission on the following day by ABC News, Earnest denied changing his answer. “If I had changed my answer, you’d know about it,” Earnest told ABC News’ Lana Zak in the daily press briefing.
On Friday, the White House referred ABC back to Earnest’s response of May 10 when questioned and claimed 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.”
There was an answer all right.
The video at the ABC website is even clearer.
This comes one day after Earnest said that the White House press shop would never edit out a portion of a press briefing like the State Department was recently caught doing.
“I feel quite confident in saying that no one would make a decision like that about a briefing that I was involved in without telling me,” Earnest said to a group of reporters traveling with the president back from Colorado Thursday evening. He also noted that the White House press shop benefits from having a smaller press operation than the State Department.
Earnest went on to say that he believes that everyone who works on his staff understands that “preserving the integrity of those kinds of transcripts and those videos is really important.”
The good news is, since the White House has such a small press operation, there should be no problem finding out who made the omission.
ABC sagely notes that in light of the State Department controversy, this episode “raises the question of whether or not there may be a deliberate pattern of altering the public record.”
Newsrooms all across America should be should be poring over past White House and State Department videos and transcripts to see how they compare with the actual record. Something tells me this has been going on for a long time, and reporters are only now beginning to notice.
It is now dawning on the liberal media, after seven and a half years of Obamunism, that they have been repeatedly lied to by this blatantly corrupt and deceitful administration. Perhaps after they were called the White House’s “echo chamber” recently by Obama’s chief national security propagandist, a few of them were embarrassed into actually doing their jobs.