State Department officials tasked with finding out who gave the order to delete a key press briefing exchange between Fox News correspondent James Rosen and former Spokeswoman Jen Psaki about the Iran nuclear deal are claiming to have hit a "dead end." From The Hill:
The State Department on Thursday said it has hit a "dead end" in determining who ordered the deletion of part of a December 2013 press briefing video that addressed the Iran nuclear deal.
"We believe we've carried out the necessary investigation. We have hit a dead end in terms of finding out more information," said State Department spokesman Mark Toner.
There's just one problem. Earlier this week Spokesperson John Kirby made it very obvious someone in the Department knows who gave the order to delete the footage.
"We did talk to the technician who was on duty that day and who was asked to make this cut and the call that came in to her was actually a call from somebody else passing on a request from another official," Kirby said.
So, who was the official who passed along the request?
It's also obvious through the explanation of the situation from Spokesman Toner that they know exactly who made the order, they just won't admit who it was.
Toner told reporters that the deletion occurred after a video technician got a call from someone within the public affairs department, acting on behest of someone else within the bureau.
Toner also made contradictory statements over whether the identity of the person who relayed the request was known.
"Yes, it was — so the request was — and we sort of know, obviously, who made that request, but that that was passing on a request from somewhere else within the Public Affairs Bureau," Toner said. "The individual in question here does not remember who told him or her to carry out this order. It was a phone call that took place three years ago. We're not going to question their memory, but at this point, we believe that we've done the forensics."
Toner also said the technician remembers the gender of the person who called, but that he was "not allowed to share that."
"We do know that and I'm not allowed to share that," Toner said.
CNN's Jake Tapper is calling the "dead end" declaration unacceptable. Former White House Press Secretary Dana Perino did the same earlier this week when the State Department finally admitted the video edit was deliberate and ordered, not a glitch as previously declared.The State Department maintains there is no cover-up going on here.