Former White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said Sunday he was instructed to deny the administration’s use of targeted drone strikes against suspected terrorists.
“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 explained on MSNBC. “You’re not even to discuss that it exists.”
“Here’s what’s inherently crazy about that proposition,” Gibbs continued. “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.”
Gibbs suggested that denying the program existed was counterproductive because it caused the public to lose trust in the President’s decisions.
Obama has so far refused to release legal memos that justify the use of drone strikes against suspected terrorists in countries like Yemen and Pakistan. The program has faced criticism for killing civilians and lacking due process of law.
“In order to bolster that confidence and bolster the belief that we’re making those correct decisions on this policy, you do have to lift the veil some to both acknowledge that it exists, as he’s done, but also to do it in a way that provides better understanding,” Gibbs added.
Watch video, courtesy of MSNBC, below: