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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: 292811

Reported Deaths: 6613
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto19560229
Hinds18674385
Harrison16512276
Rankin12595262
Jackson12451217
Lee9663160
Madison9400195
Jones7891145
Forrest7140136
Lauderdale6784225
Lowndes6008137
Lamar584480
Lafayette5707113
Washington5159128
Bolivar4594120
Oktibbeha439991
Panola426892
Pearl River4116128
Warren4114113
Pontotoc407368
Marshall399492
Monroe3980126
Union392873
Neshoba3767166
Lincoln3464100
Hancock339973
Leflore3358118
Sunflower317185
Tate300874
Pike298393
Scott292567
Alcorn290360
Itawamba288871
Yazoo283862
Tippah275665
Copiah274557
Coahoma272766
Simpson271778
Prentiss268658
Leake251770
Wayne251340
Marion250778
Covington247878
Grenada245876
Adams233277
George230645
Newton224751
Winston220275
Jasper211844
Tishomingo211765
Attala206269
Chickasaw200650
Holmes181670
Clay178149
Stone171429
Tallahatchie169839
Clarke168671
Calhoun156428
Smith151831
Yalobusha142936
Greene126833
Walthall123540
Noxubee122729
Perry121434
Montgomery121237
Lawrence119321
Carroll117623
Amite110832
Webster109929
Jefferson Davis100531
Tunica98623
Claiborne97729
Benton93124
Humphreys91626
Kemper89522
Quitman77014
Franklin75519
Choctaw69516
Wilkinson62226
Jefferson61427
Sharkey48817
Issaquena1676
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 491110

Reported Deaths: 9831
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson706291356
Mobile35894721
Madison32255442
Tuscaloosa23996409
Montgomery22462494
Shelby21820215
Baldwin19670274
Lee14900150
Morgan13599249
Calhoun13175285
Etowah13143319
Marshall11226206
Houston10048259
Elmore9337183
Limestone9335134
Cullman8869179
St. Clair8783220
Lauderdale8581210
DeKalb8429174
Talladega7481163
Walker6504251
Jackson6477102
Autauga620389
Blount6086125
Colbert5978118
Coffee5230102
Dale4621106
Russell401831
Franklin397876
Covington3956106
Chilton384298
Escambia377172
Tallapoosa3572141
Clarke342949
Dallas3397141
Chambers3392108
Pike293071
Lawrence281384
Marion280894
Winston246166
Bibb244260
Geneva238670
Marengo233354
Pickens223954
Barbour209951
Hale208868
Fayette199756
Butler195165
Henry182041
Cherokee176438
Monroe165938
Randolph163140
Washington156634
Crenshaw143554
Clay143354
Macon140943
Cleburne136839
Lamar131732
Lowndes130648
Wilcox120825
Bullock116336
Conecuh106523
Perry105327
Sumter98431
Coosa87823
Greene87032
Choctaw54823
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