Robert Gibbs: I Was Ordered Not to Acknowledge Existence of Drone Program

Published on February 25, 2013

Screen Shot 2013-02-25 at 9.15.16 AMOn Sunday’s edition of MSNBC‘s “Up With Chris Hayes,” former Obama press secretary Robert Gibbs said that he was not allowed to acknowledge the existence of the drone program while discussing transparency in the Obama administration.

“On this issue, particularly on national security issues, I feel like there really has been a transparency problem. I want to just show a little bit of montage of the White House responding to questions about, say, the drone program over the years,” Hayes said before playing a clip of an exchange between Gibbs and Major Garrett.

In that clip, Gibbs told Garrett that he would not “get into internal discussions” about the program.
“Do you think that you’ve been sufficiently forthcoming and the White House has been sufficiently forthcoming on this stuff?” Hayes asked.

“I certainly think there are aspects of that program that are and will remain highly sensitive and very secret, but let me give you an example here, Chris,” Gibbs said.

“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. You’re not even to discuss that it exists,” he admitted.

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