White House officials admired Lloyd Austin's quiet profile until recently.

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As Army general and defense secretary, Lloyd Austin has been known as a man of few words who avoids the spotlight, something the White House liked until recently.

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After failing to notify the White House for several days that he had been hospitalized on New Year's Day due to prostate cancer treatment difficulties, Austin's low profile has backfired.

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His silence has caused a political headache for the Biden administration and angered lawmakers from both parties, who want to know why the secretary

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and his senior staff kept the president in the dark about his intensive care unit stay at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.

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The White House says President Joe Biden trusts Austin and will neither terminate him or accept a resignation offer.

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Austin's modest public manner has been admired by Biden's top aides and the president, especially for a staff that hates leaks and controversy. 

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However, other officials cautioned assets might become liabilities. They say Austin experienced that. Secretaries Austin hospitalized for prostate cancer treatment complications: Walter Reed staff

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A former senior military officer and friend called Austin an introvert and “good, decent guy without a dishonest bone in his body.”

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