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."
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.
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Cheryl Chumley is a continuous news writer for The Washington Times. Previously, she was part of the start-up team for The Washington Times’ digital aggregation product, Times247. She’s also a 2008-2009 Robert Novak journalism fellow with The Phillips Foundation. She can be reached at email@example.com.
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