Read the entire briefing here. A few quotes:
QUESTION: The one thing that the report says about the State Department is that there was a misspelling of the name. Whose misspelling was that?
SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL: Okay. There was --
SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL: Someone checked, and I’m not going to go into who, but some --
QUESTION: No, no, no. I’m asking which agency, not which specific person.
SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL: State Department. State Department checked to see if the person had a visa. There was a dropped letter in that – there was a misspelling. They used a very – they checked the system. It didn’t come back positive. And so for a while, no one knew that this person had a visa.
-- snip --
QUESTION: So, wait, can I just finish my question? So I’m not – so when it went to NCTC, then they spelled it right and you realized that he had a visa?
SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL: Yes.
QUESTION: So you’re just saying for like a week or so, or a couple of weeks?
SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL: No – I don’t know if anyone – I don’t think anyone – no one may have checked for a visa until Christmas Day.
-- Snip --
QUESTION: Do you think that the misspelling of the name and not finding the fact that he had a visa had anything to do with whether he would be classified a PB3 [potential terrorist] or a B3 [terrorist]?
SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL: No. Well, P3B was put in because there was a possibility, because he’s –
SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL: -- the interview. As far as being anything else, no, I don’t think there was – I don’t think the not knowing that he didn’t have a visa, not reporting that – and the report says that. It says: “A determination to revoke his visa, however, would have only occurred if there had been a successful integration of the intelligence by the CT community, resulting in his being watch-listed.” So --
QUESTION: So even if he was he was spelled – even if it was spelled right and you knew he had a visa, he still wouldn’t have been – it still wouldn’t have been revoked?
SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL: That’s correct.
-- Snip --
QUESTION: Isn’t – actually, isn’t the visa issue kind of a bit of a red herring here, because –
SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL: That’s – exactly.
QUESTION: If he had made – if he had gotten onto the 3B list, it doesn’t matter if he had a visa or not; he wouldn’t have been able to get on the plane.
QUESTION: That’s right.