Robert Gibbs, ex-White House spokesman: I was ordered to deny existence of drones

Robert Gibbs, President Obama’s former press secretary, said during a Sunday television talk show appearance that he was told to deny the existence of the United States’ drone program when he first came on board the administration.

“When I went through the process of becoming press secretary, one of the first things they told me was, you’re not even to acknowledge the drone program,” he said on Sunday’s MSNBC’s “Up With Chris Hayes,” as Politico reports. “You’re not even to discuss that it exists.”


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He called that policy “crazy” at the time, he said.

“Here’s what’s inherently crazy about that proposition,” he said, according to the report. “You’re being asked a question based on reporting of a program that exists. So you’re the official government spokesperson acting as if the entire program — pay no attention to the man behind the curtain. … I think what the president has seen is our denial of the existence of the program when it’s obviously happening undermines the people’s confidence overall in the decisions that their government makes.”

Mr. Gibbs did not specify who told him to issue the denials.

** FILE ** Seattle police Officer Jim Britt demonstrates an unmanned aerial vehicle during an informational meeting at which the police attempted answer questions about their drone program at the Garfield Community Center in Seattle on Thursday, Oct. 25, 2012. The mayor of Seattle ended the police department's drone program in February after residents protested. (AP Photo/The Seattle Times, Colin Diltz)

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** FILE ** Seattle police Officer Jim Britt demonstrates an unmanned aerial ... more >

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