The White House is declining to talk about any CIA ties of an American who has been missing since a 2007 trip to Iran.
An Associated Press investigation has found that retired FBI agent Robert Levinson was a contractor for the CIA, though the U.S. government has said he was on private business when he disappeared.
White House press secretary Jay Carney said in response to questions Friday that Levinson was not a U.S. government employee when he went missing, but he wouldn't comment on whether the man was on contract with the CIA.
He said he was limited in what he could say and criticized the AP report as "highly irresponsible to publish." He said he wouldn't say anything that could harm the government's continued efforts to find Levinson.
"He was not a U.S. government employee when he made that trip," said Carney, responding to questions about an Associated Press story that said Levinson was working for the Central Intelligence Agency when he disappeared.
"As there is an ongoing investigation into his disappearance, I'm not going to comment further on what he may or may not have been doing in Iran," Carney said, calling the story "highly irresponsible."
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