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Desiree Rogers on ABC's "Nightline" reflects on White House, job as Johnson Publishing CEO

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WASHINGTON--Desiree Rogers, the CEO of Johnson Publishing, and a former White House Social Secretary told ABC News "Nightline" it is "liberating" to run Jet and Ebony magazines and a "less mature person might be resentful" about the circumstances behind her departure from the Obama administration.

The ABC interview with Rogers, also a co-chair of Mayor-elect Emanuel's Mayoral Inaugural Committee will be broadcast on Monday night. ABC's web story is headlined, "Ex-White House Staffer Discusses Obama Administration Pitfalls and Elation Over New Publishing Gig"

On being CEO of Chicago based Johnson Publishing:
"It feels liberating," she told "Nightline's" Bill Weir. "I feel like, for the first time, I'm in a position that allows me to really use all of my assets in a very powerful way."

On state dinner crashers Tareq and Michelle Salahi showing up at the Obama White House first state dinner, for Prime Minister Manmohan Singh of India in 2009:
"It's unfortunate that, you know, this happened and ... it's over," she said. "It's the past, it's behind us and that's the end of it."

As ABC put it: "Although tensions already were building between Rogers and her colleagues, the Salahis' security breach, which launched an investigation, became the trigger for her dismissal from the White House in February 2010."

On her departure from the White House:
"I think a less mature person might be resentful," she said. "....My job is to make certain that I've done what I was asked and my department has done what we were asked to do by the president and the first lady and the State Department. I believe that we accomplished that. ...and so for me, that's what I dwell on."

More on her departure from ABC News web story on Rogers interview: (an entire transcript has not been released)

"Ultimately, Rogers said, her departure from the White House was a "joint decision" made between her and Valerie Jarrett, a senior advisor to President Obama.
"I was never sure that I wanted to be there for, you know, four years," she said. "I'm a business person at heart."

Still, she referred to her relationship with Jarrett as "strained."
"This is work," she said. "You have to separate that from your own, you know, personal endeavors."

A do-over she would take from her White House tenure:
"I would have declined more interviews that were brought to me," she said. "I'm not certain what the fascination was with me in particular. ... I think, you know, we could have managed all of that better."

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Lynn Sweet

Lynn Sweet is a columnist and the Washington Bureau Chief for the Chicago Sun-Times.

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This page contains a single entry by Lynn Sweet published on April 11, 2011 10:17 AM.

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