Chief Pentagon spokeswoman announces departure

Chief Pentagon spokeswoman Dana White is leaving her post, a move that coincides with Secretary of Defense J...

Posted: Jan 1, 2019 4:16 PM
Updated: Jan 1, 2019 4:16 PM

Chief Pentagon spokeswoman Dana White is leaving her post, a move that coincides with Secretary of Defense James Mattis stepping down but also comes amid an internal Defense Department investigation into her conduct.

"I appreciate the opportunity afforded to me by this administration to serve alongside Secretary Mattis, our Service members and all the civilians who support them," White tweeted Monday. "It has been my honor and privilege. Stay safe and God bless."

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White also sent a farewell message to Defense Department public affairs personnel Monday.

"It is with a heavy heart that I have submitted my letter of resignation to Secretary Mattis. I am grateful to the administration for giving me the opportunity to serve alongside Secretary Mattis, the brave men and women in uniform, and all of the civilians who support them," the message read, according to a copy obtained by CNN.

On Tuesday, Charles Summers Jr., a principal deputy assistant to the secretary of defense in White's office, will assume the role of acting assistant to the secretary of defense for public affairs, according to the Pentagon.

White's departure comes as the department's inspector general investigates allegations of retaliation against staff members after she used some of them to conduct her personal errands and business matters.

In August, CNN reported that White, a Trump administration political appointee, was under investigation by the inspector general after multiple complaints were filed against her.

White is alleged to have misused support staff, asking them to fetch her dry cleaning, run to the pharmacy for her and work on her mortgage paperwork, among other things. Staffers also accused White of inappropriately transferring personnel after they filed complaints about her.

White became the Pentagon's chief spokeswoman in April 2017 and reported directly to Mattis. The defense secretary's last day at the Pentagon also was Monday.

White used to hold regular televised press briefings, but has not appeared in one since May. It is not clear if her absence from briefings is related to the investigation. Reporters have been told the White House wanted to see more briefings by senior uniformed officers.

After a months-long pause in on-camera briefings, Mattis selected Burke Whitman, a two-star major general in the Marine Corps, to act as a uniformed spokesman for the Defense Department.

While White remained in her role up until Monday's announcement, the expectation was that Whitman would replace her as the Pentagon's regular on-camera briefer.

The decision to appoint Whitman was controversial because the military is supposed to remain outside the political arena, and with a member of the military acting as spokesperson, reporters will not be able to ask questions about the political aspects of decision-making.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 350070

Reported Deaths: 7590
CountyCasesDeaths
Hinds24512449
DeSoto23513283
Harrison21172335
Rankin15798293
Jackson15735254
Madison11171227
Lee10903180
Jones9223169
Forrest9027163
Lauderdale8087244
Lamar724890
Lowndes7199152
Lafayette6631125
Washington5661140
Pearl River5357154
Oktibbeha503198
Bolivar5004134
Warren4817128
Panola4812112
Marshall4739106
Pontotoc452473
Hancock440388
Neshoba4401181
Union438979
Monroe4369138
Lincoln4228116
Pike3739114
Leflore3676125
Alcorn355374
Tate354988
Sunflower351094
Adams347490
Scott346677
Yazoo342977
Copiah330869
Simpson327191
Itawamba317281
Coahoma315685
Tippah312869
Prentiss302563
Covington302384
Marion289882
Leake288676
Wayne280945
George277351
Grenada272188
Newton266864
Tishomingo240770
Winston238084
Stone235338
Jasper234748
Attala228674
Chickasaw221460
Holmes202574
Clay201954
Clarke189580
Tallahatchie185642
Calhoun183232
Smith183036
Yalobusha173641
Walthall150449
Lawrence145426
Greene141935
Amite139144
Noxubee137235
Perry136138
Montgomery133944
Carroll127031
Webster124332
Jefferson Davis119834
Tunica116127
Benton107825
Claiborne105931
Kemper104429
Humphreys102333
Franklin88424
Quitman86319
Choctaw83119
Wilkinson79332
Jefferson72228
Sharkey51918
Issaquena1746
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 592417

Reported Deaths: 11542
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson861091591
Mobile49771865
Madison37714533
Shelby27501259
Tuscaloosa27344465
Montgomery26343628
Baldwin25860329
Lee17336181
Calhoun15498334
Morgan15225291
Etowah15060370
Marshall13198236
Houston12191293
Elmore10977219
St. Clair10852252
Limestone10816158
Cullman10610206
Lauderdale10305254
DeKalb9594192
Talladega9005188
Walker7840288
Autauga7615114
Jackson7431117
Blount7417139
Colbert6752142
Coffee6443132
Dale5723117
Russell482243
Chilton4810117
Covington4804125
Franklin462781
Tallapoosa4571156
Escambia451083
Chambers3987125
Dallas3751163
Clarke372263
Marion3470107
Pike334079
Lawrence3277100
Winston300773
Bibb292865
Geneva288383
Marengo262967
Barbour253761
Pickens247762
Butler242472
Hale236778
Fayette228165
Henry216545
Monroe204541
Randolph202844
Cherokee200748
Washington186839
Macon171552
Crenshaw170658
Clay167159
Cleburne161845
Lamar151938
Lowndes146255
Wilcox132331
Bullock126542
Conecuh122132
Coosa119529
Perry111228
Sumter110633
Greene99337
Choctaw64425
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