White House press secretary Jay Carney on Monday pushed back against claims that the administration had allowed a website about the Amber Alert system to go offline to inconvenience the public and sway support during the government shutdown.
"That's not the case," Carney told reporters.
"The website that the [Justice Department] maintains is informational and it's not a law enforcement tool to issue Amber Alerts," he added.
"At no point in the shutdown has the system been interrupted," said Carney.
The DOJ website that provides information on the program, which sends alerts to communities about child abductions, went offline Sunday with a note citing the government shutdown, which is entering its second week.
Conservatives pounced on the decision, saying that the administration was targeting certain programs in the government shutdown to score political points in the messaging battle with Republicans.
The Justice Department said that the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children was continuing to compile and run the Amber Alert system even while the informational website was down.
Carney said a "furloughed Justice Department employee was called into the office to restore the site."