The White House said Friday officials might have been aware of the “Cuban Twitter” program's objective, but not its operational details.

“It’s likely that someone at the White House would have been aware generally of the efforts to put in place an infrastructure to facilitate the free flow of ideas, but would not be informed of the operational details,” deputy spokesman Josh Earnest said.

The program built by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) was intended to encourage expression of free ideas under a repressive government, Earnest said.

“This is a clear effort by the United States to try to meet that need,” he said, adding that “a policy decision like this is fairly routine.”

On Thursday, The Associated Press reported the United States government had secretly created a communications network in an effort to undermine Cuba’s communist government. 

The report said it was unclear if the program, which ran from 2009–2012, was legal because covert operations must be approved by the president.

“Suggestions that this was a covert program are wrong,” White House spokesman Jay Carney said Thursday.

Officials had to be discreet in implementing it, but that didn’t make it covert, Carney added.

On Thursday, State Department spokesman Marie Harf revealed the program never reached Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonDem targeted by party establishment loses Texas primary Penn to Hewitt: Mueller probe born out of ‘hysteria’ Trump claims a 'spy' on his campaign tried to help 'Crooked Hillary' win MORE’s desk when she served as secretary of State.

After reviewing 1,000 pages of documents and interviewing people involved in the program, the AP reported the “Cuban Twitter” attracted at least 40,000 subscribers. None of them, however, was aware of who was behind it.