Jay Carney, who recently resigned as press secretary for President Barack Obama, was a guest on "The Late Show with David Letterman" and went over a few of the non-responses Letterman said presidential press secretaries are allowed to use.
Among the non-responses were "No comment," "I don't have the answer," and, a Carney classic: "I would refer you to someone else."
Carney told Letterman on Wednesday night that it is better to acknowledge that you don't know the answer than try to make something up because there could be international, domestic or political repercussions.
Carney said he would never say "I'm not going to tell you" unless it involved a covert operation.
"Reporters should absolutely come after public officials and demand answers," said Carney, a former journalist and Time's former Washington bureau chief. But he said public officials should not divulge classified information.
The Obama administration has come under fire for targeting journalists such as Fox News' James Rosen and The New York Times' James Risen for talking to government leakers.
Another of Letterman's favorite "approved" responses: "See yesterday's non-response."
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