The Pentagon is experiencing difficulty with communication, having sent out information twice in April that was either unauthorized or not accurate.
"I've been telling people, 'nobody's home' at DOD (Department of Defense)," a Pentagon staff member told The Hill.
"The acting officials and military folks can do the day-to-day stuff, but I don't think they see their job as being policy operatives for the new administration, so I can see how things are breaking down when there's a crisis of some kind," the staffer added.
The Defense Department did not correct claims from the White House that an aircraft carrier was headed for North Korea.
"We're sending an armada," President Donald Trump said, but the Carl Vinson was sailing in the opposite direction, according to The New York Times.
In another instance, last Friday, U.S. Central Command issued a statement about comments made to The Hill about the use of the "Mother of All Bombs" in Afghanistan.
On April 13, a CENTCOM spokesman told The Hill: "We just found a huge beehive and we have to use something more than the fly swatter."
Those statements were "inappropriate," said Maj. Josh Jacques, media chief at CENTCOM.
Understaffing and poor communication between the White House and Pentagon could be at fault, according to Owen Daniels of the Atlantic Council.
"It appears that DOD is trying to work out the kinks in collaborating on messaging with the White House in real time," Daniels said.
The Defense Department may also be attempting to avoid contradicting the White house in order to provide "unified, consistent messaging to both partners and adversaries," Daniels added.
Secretary of Defense James Mattis is the only Pentagon nominee to get through the Senate confirmation. There are 52 positions left unfilled, The Hill noted.
"Friction between Mattis and the White House has led to less communication. The political people care about not embarrassing the president. The career people don't," one lobbyist told The Hill.
Adding: "There aren't any political people around Mattis."
Dana White, the Pentagon's chief spokesperson, told The Hill the Pentagon is working to resolve its issues.
"This is what transparency looks like. It's our responsibility to be as clear and open with the American people as possible. We could have been clearer, and we will strive to be so in the future," White said.
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