Former State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki spoke out Wednesday after an investigation revealed that one of the press briefing videos was edited to remove a politically damaging exchange under her tenure. “I had no knowledge of nor would I have approved of any form of editing or cutting my briefing transcript on any subject while [at the State Department],” she tweeted out.
I had no knowledge of nor would I have approved of any form of editing or cutting my briefing transcript on any subject while @StateDept
— Jen Psaki (@Psaki44) June 1, 2016
Fair enough. But Psaki, who now handles communications for the White House, has never been accused of editing the State Department’s briefing transcript. No one has.
From the beginning, this controversy has centered around the editing of an official State Department video, not its transcript. On the contrary, the transcript was something of a smoking gun, proving that Psaki’s exchange with Fox News journalist James Rosen definitely happened and was the only thing missing from the video.
It’s hard not to read Psaki’s tweet as a carefully crafted attempt to avoid answering the central question: did she order her subordinates to edit a video to hide the fact that she strongly implied the State Department lies to reporters? Likewise, it’s hard not to reach the conclusion that she wouldn’t be avoiding that question unless she knew the public wouldn’t like the answer.
The only other possible interpretation of Psaki’s tweet is that she’s so uninformed and/or nonchalant about State Department lawyers’ investigation into deceit carried out under her tenure, she legitimately thought this whole controversy was about a transcript edit and not a video edit. Either way, not a great look for the White House communications chief.
[Image via screengrab]
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This is an opinion piece. The views expressed in this article are those of just the author.