State Department's Kirby: We Learned Iran Was Not Going To Return FBI Agent Robert Levinson From The Media


State Department spokesman Ret. Rear Admiral John Kirby tells MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell the administration learned Iran was not going to return former FBI agent Robert Levinson as part of the prisoner swap from the media. Iran and the United States engaged in a prisoner swap over the weekend.

His family, who also learned about Levinson's fate through the media and not the federal government, says he was "left behind."

ANDREA MITCHELL: Why did Christine Levinson (Robert Levinson's wife) find out about this from television news reports, find out about the release of the others?

JOHN KIRBY, STATE DEPARTMENT SPOKESMAN: Unfortunately, so many other people found out about it through press reports because the Iranians leaked the information early, too early for us to have made the phone calls and notifications that we wanted to make. Believe me, nobody is happy about the way that went down. That's not the way that we wanted it to happen.

We certainly had every intention of making that notification so that none of the families had to find out what was going on through media reporting. But the leaks happened and it got ahead of us and again, it's regrettable, but it certainly wasn't our intention and certainly wasn't any part of the plan.

Watch Kirby's full interview below:

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