Rachel Maddow and former White House press secretary Robert Gibbs spoke about President Obama's drone program on Maddow's Monday show.
Gibbs, who is now an MSNBC contributor, said on Sunday that he was told by the White House never to even acknowledge the existence of the program if he was asked about it.
"Why were you told that you can't talk about it?" Maddow asked.
Gibbs -- who has his own controversial history of commenting about the drone program -- didn't quite answer, beyond saying that parts of the program were "highly classified." He repeated earlier comments that there should be less secrecy about drones, but he also defended the program.
"The drone program has saved lives in this country," he said. "...That is a very good thing."
"We seem to be waging war with part of our country that isn't supposed to be accountable to us as civilians," Maddow said. "I don't understand how we can, in a democratic system, have something that kills many people, that goes on for years, that is a large-scale program, that the government denies."
Gibbs said he agreed, and he claimed that both President Obama and CIA nominee John Brennan thought it was "so important" to be "more public" about drones.