MBTA General Manager Steve Poftak said Monday that he does not view Gov. Charlie Baker's office setting boundaries on releasing information publicly as "political interference."

Poftak faced pointed questions from Lynn Democrat Sen. Brendan Crighton and Longmeadow Sen. Eric Lesser about the T's lack of transparency surrounding a Blue Line project in May, where three construction vehicle derailments extended a subway shutdown.

The Boston Globe reported this month that the MBTA and Department of Public Utilities had draft statements prepared to inform the public about the incidents, but were instructed by Baker's press team to provide limited information with no mention of the derailments.

"I don't view it as political interference," Poftak replied to Lesser when asked about that series of events.

"My energy was focused on the primary and secondary priorities" of keeping the project moving, Poftak added. "This was a tertiary priority. I made the decision not to push back on what was said. That's a contestable decision, but at that point in time, it was not my first or second priority."

Crighton, who co-chairs the Transportation Committee, also pressed Poftak about the weeks-long gap between the Federal Transit Administration's decision to launch a safety management inspection of the MBTA and the T's public acknowledgement of the probe, which only came after the Globe reported about the development.

Poftak said he does not recall anyone at the FTA explicitly telling his team not to disclose that a federal investigation was ongoing. Both he and Transportation Secretary Jamey Tesler said their approach historically has been to let federal agencies decide how to announce any action.

"This is a federal partner agency. They sent that letter. They notified a number of parties beyond just the MBTA directly," Tesler said. "Because it is their matter and their investigation, our tendency is to defer to them."