US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin has admitted he “did not handle this right” and should have told President Biden and the public about his prostate cancer diagnosis.
However, he said he didn’t order his staff to hide his condition.
“We did not handle this right and I did not handle this right. I should have told the president about my cancer diagnosis. I take full responsibility,” Mr Austin said.
The defence secretary was diagnosed in early December, had surgery on 22 December, but did not tell the president and other senior figures until days after complications forced him into intensive care on 1 January.
Mr Austin was speaking in his first media conference since his diagnosis.
His slow disclosure of his condition has prompted an internal Pentagon review and an inspector general review into his department’s notification processes.
Mr Austin was taken to hospital by ambulance with severe pain 10 days after his surgery.
He passed decision-making authority to deputy defense secretary Kathleen Hicks, but did inform her why.
“I never directed anyone to keep my January hospitalisation from the White House,” he told reporters on Thursday.
This breaking news story is being updated and more details will be published shortly.
Please refresh the page for the fullest version.
You can receive Breaking News alerts on a smartphone or tablet via the Sky News App. You can also follow @SkyNews on X or subscribe to our YouTube channel to keep up with the latest news.