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Lippert leaving WH

From NBC's Chuck Todd
The White House is confirming the news that Mark Lippert, chief of staff to National Security Adviser, Gen. James Jones, is leaving the White House altogether and replacing him is Denis McDonough. McDonough had served as director of strategic communications for the National Security Council.

Replacing McDonough in the press role at NSC is international affairs White House speechwriter Ben Rhodes. McDonough and Jones have become very close, and Jones has become a familiar face to the White House press corps on foreign trips. 

Here's the president's statement:

"I will miss Mark and his counsel, his excellent work at the NSC, and his good cheer. At the same time, I was not surprised when he came and told me he had stepped forward for another mobilization, as Mark is passionate about the Navy. I support his decision. He is a close friend, and I admire and respect his devotion to our country and answering the call to active duty service. He will always have a senior foreign policy position in this White House, when he chooses to return to civilian life."

Lippert's been trying to leave this role for some time, wasn't the perfect fit, according to sources in the know. The White House offered him the post of director of the White House Office of Military Affairs (which has been vacant since the resignation/firing of Louis Caldera for the Air Force One flyover in New York, but Lippert turned it down. He'll be going back to the Navy.