White House: No DNC speeches for Cabinet secretaries

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  • White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough instructed cabinet leaders not to speak at this year's Democratic convention
  • At the 2012 Democratic National Convention, five cabinet members spoke in support of President Barack Obama

(CNN)The White House is banning Cabinet secretaries from speaking at this month's Democratic National Convention, pointing to a need to separate politics from members official duties.

White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough instructed Cabinet leaders that they would not be speaking at this year's convention to "send a signal about the primacy of the Obama Administration's responsibility to manage the government and serve the American people," White House Deputy Press Secretary Jennifer Friedman told CNN.
    The news was first reported by the New York Times.
    At the 2012 Democratic National Convention, five Cabinet members spoke in support of President Barack Obama while he was running for re-election -- although they did not speak in their capacity of their official titles at the convention.
    While secretaries are not permitted to speak at the convention this time, many have been outspoken supporters of Hillary Clinton, including Labor Secretary Tom Perez and Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro. However they both have made a point to state they were there in a personal capacity and not an official one.
    Federal law prohibits high-ranking U.S. officials from engaging in partisan political activity while in an official capacity. However, officials can engage in politics at their own expense and time.