Pentagon expected to tap DHS official as next spokesman

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Mallory Hughes/CNN

The Pentagon has asked Jonathan Hoffman, a spokesman at the Department of Homeland Security, to be the next spokesman at the Defense Department, several officials tell CNN.

Hoffman, currently an assistant secretary for public affairs at DHS, would be leaving the agency as the Trump administration has shaken up the leadership at the department, firing several senior officials along with former Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen.

Hoffman is likely to accept, said a source familiar with the assistant secretary’s thinking. “It is too big of an opportunity to pass up,” the source said.

The new role had been in the works for months, according to the same source. It has coincided with Nielsen’s departure, but was not a result of her abrupt ejection from DHS. Nielsen was supportive of the move, as has been acting Secretary Kevin McAleenan, said the source.

The Pentagon has been without a permanent chief spokesperson since January, when Dana White left shortly after Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis submitted his resignation to President Donald Trump. Defense officials have told CNN the Pentagon has had difficulty filling the spokesperson position.

Hoffman did not respond to a request for comment. The Defense Department declined to comment.

Charles Summers has been acting spokesman at the Pentagon, but there has not been an on-camera briefing by a department spokesperson since May 2018.