Tags: Media Bias | Trump Administration | defense | secretary | james mattis | press

Mattis Encouraging 4-Star Generals to Talk to Media

Image: Mattis Encouraging 4-Star Generals to Talk to Media
Defense Secretary James Mattis (Andrew Harnik/AP)

By    |   Tuesday, 10 October 2017 05:39 PM

Defense Secretary James Mattis is telling his four-star leaders to talk to the press more freely — but stay in "their lane," Defense One reported.

Mattis offered the advice during a closed-door Senior Leadership Conference last week, a Pentagon gathering of generals and admirals, Defense One reported.

"Communications is the job of the commander, not just the [public affairs officer]," Mattis told the roomful of four-stars, according to a description of the meeting by Pentagon press secretary Dana White sent Friday to public affairs officers of the military's combatant commands, Defense One reported.

"I realize there may be a perception that we have been keeping the media at arm's length, but that is not the case and we're doing our best to dispel that rumor and continue to be transparent with our press corps," White said in the email, Defense One reported.

"Please communicate to your respective senior leaders that we want them to feel free, even obligated, to speak, in their lane, about their efforts and to use our [Office of the Secretary of Defense Public Affairs] team resources to help along the way."

She also described Mattis' "top priority" as "ensuring the warfighter has what he or she needs to win any current or future conflict."

"The department has a responsibility to communicate with the American people about what our military needs to stay the most lethal joint force on earth," she wrote, Defense One reported. "The media plays a critical role in that conversation."

Mattis wants Congress to pass a regular spending bill instead of a continuing resolution, which locks the military's budget at previous year's levels and prevents spending on things like new weapons systems and training, Defense One reported.

"His guidance is to talk," a senior defense official told Defense One. "And he wants people to talk about what they know and why it matters."

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Defense Secretary James Mattis offered advice during a closed-door Senior Leadership Conference last week, a Pentagon gathering of generals and admirals, according to Defense One: Talk to the press more freely, but stay in "their lane."
defense, secretary, james mattis, press
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2017-39-10
Tuesday, 10 October 2017 05:39 PM
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