Biden: Austin had lapse in judgment by not disclosing hospitalization
President Biden said Friday that Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin experienced a lapse in judgment in not revealing his recent hospitalization earlier.
Why it matters: The secrecy surrounding Austin's hospitalization spurred days of controversy as well as calls from lawmakers for Austin's resignation.
Catch up quick: Austin's Jan. 1 hospitalization wasn't made public until Jan. 5, with the White House, National Security Council and Deputy Defense Secretary Kathleen Hicks remaining in the dark until Jan. 4.
What he's saying: Biden told reporters while on a visit to Pennsylvania on Friday he still had confidence in Austin, per a White House pool report.
- Asked if it was a lapse in judgment for Austin to not inform him earlier, Biden replied, "yes."
Context: It was revealed earlier this week that Austin's hospitalization was due to complications from a procedure to treat prostate cancer.
- The Pentagon announced Monday that Austin had resumed the full duties of his office.
- Pentagon spokesperson Pat Ryder said Thursday that Austin remained hospitalized but in "good condition."
The big picture: The White House previously said that it has no plans to oust the Defense Secretary.