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: 161516

Reported Deaths: 3916
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto10863104
Hinds10705207
Harrison7624114
Jackson6774131
Rankin6303114
Lee557798
Madison5311112
Forrest405587
Jones388589
Lauderdale3754149
Lafayette347358
Washington3421108
Lamar310350
Lowndes265168
Oktibbeha262763
Bolivar254686
Panola243754
Neshoba2333124
Marshall229451
Leflore216492
Monroe216278
Pontotoc213631
Lincoln203267
Sunflower198156
Warren189559
Tate187251
Union179626
Copiah176141
Pike170860
Pearl River168170
Itawamba166637
Scott166030
Yazoo164441
Alcorn161529
Coahoma160044
Prentiss159034
Simpson156954
Grenada149545
Adams148852
Leake146244
George138326
Covington137642
Holmes136861
Tippah135230
Winston134326
Hancock132842
Wayne127424
Attala126836
Marion126548
Tishomingo116444
Newton114929
Chickasaw112632
Tallahatchie101227
Clay98527
Clarke96954
Jasper90023
Stone85115
Calhoun82413
Montgomery80726
Walthall80430
Carroll78115
Lawrence76814
Smith76516
Yalobusha75728
Noxubee74817
Perry70127
Greene66023
Tunica64019
Amite61815
Jefferson Davis60818
Claiborne59716
Humphreys56119
Benton51018
Quitman5107
Kemper50019
Webster49514
Wilkinson42522
Jefferson39012
Franklin3866
Choctaw3757
Sharkey33517
Issaquena1254
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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 264199

Reported Deaths: 3831
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson35310515
Mobile20626372
Madison14521153
Tuscaloosa13897173
Montgomery12844246
Shelby1127878
Baldwin9501138
Lee807167
Morgan740555
Etowah704870
Marshall695358
Calhoun6939126
Houston559140
DeKalb521843
Cullman490650
St. Clair466557
Limestone462446
Lauderdale452257
Elmore440070
Walker3914112
Talladega386157
Jackson373523
Colbert347948
Blount323146
Autauga294542
Franklin265534
Coffee260023
Dale247355
Dallas236832
Chilton235445
Covington234834
Russell23433
Escambia208832
Tallapoosa192692
Chambers189154
Clarke165422
Pike165215
Marion150236
Winston146325
Lawrence139936
Pickens129720
Geneva12929
Marengo127824
Bibb127038
Barbour121729
Butler121142
Cherokee108224
Randolph108022
Fayette102216
Hale102132
Clay95527
Washington94222
Henry9097
Monroe85311
Lowndes82930
Cleburne80914
Macon77522
Crenshaw73830
Lamar7348
Conecuh73215
Bullock71120
Perry7037
Wilcox65918
Sumter60122
Greene45818
Choctaw43620
Coosa3854
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