CNN Announces Phil Mattingly as Chief White House Correspondent and MJ Lee As Senior White House Correspondent
CNN has announced new assignments for its White House team, effective immediately.
Phil Mattingly has been promoted to Chief White House Correspondent.
Mattingly previously served as senior White House correspondent covering the Biden administration where he reported in depth on the policy and personnel driving the administration’s first two years in office. Mattingly consistently broke important news around the administration, including the news that Biden would sanction Russian President Vladimir Putin, details on a new multinational coordinated effort to target Russian supply chains, important developments in Biden’s OPEC negotiations, and more.
Prior to moving to the White House beat in January 2021, Mattingly was a congressional correspondent. In that role, Mattingly was one of the lead reporters contributing to CNN’s extensive coverage of the Republican attempts to repeal and replace Obamacare, the Capitol Hill spending and shutdown battles, as well as each step of the process to overhaul the U.S. tax system. As part of that effort, he secured an exclusive interview with Speaker Paul Ryan on the details of the GOP tax bill on the day it was first released. He was also part of the team that won the Radio & Television Correspondents Association David Bloom Award for coverage of the January 6th Attack on the US Capitol, where Mattingly was based on that day.
Mattingly joined CNN in December 2015 as a New York-based correspondent and spent 2016 on the campaign trail covering Republican presidential candidates Chris Christie, John Kasich, and Donald Trump, which included a series of investigative pieces into Trump’s business history, finances, and taxes.
Before joining CNN, Mattingly worked at Bloomberg News and Television in Washington, D.C. Mattingly graduated from the Ohio State University in 2006, where he was a scholar varsity athlete. He received his Master’s Degree in journalism from Boston University in 2008
MJ Lee has been promoted to Senior White House Correspondent.
Lee began covering the White House for CNN in 2021. She has broken news on some of the Biden administration’s most consequential policy decisions, including around the nationwide baby formula shortage, the White House’s student loan debt forgiveness plan and public health emergencies like monkeypox and COVID. She has traveled abroad on Biden’s key foreign trips, covering the president’s relationship with world leaders and his position on the global stage.
Lee was previously based in CNN’s New York bureau and covered the 2020 presidential election as a political correspondent for the network, focusing on Elizabeth Warren’s campaign during the primaries before reporting on Biden’s general election campaign and the transition. She has also covered the national #MeToo movement — particularly, its implications on Capitol Hill and in government — breaking news on major misconduct allegations involving elected officials and political figures.
Before joining CNN in 2015, Lee was a finance and politics reporter at Politico. She was born in South Korea and grew up in Hong Kong, and has a bachelor’s degree in government and Chinese from Georgetown University. She is a member of the Asian American Journalists Association and is currently based in Washington, DC, where she lives with her husband Alex, daughter Penelope and dog Bandit.
In addition, Priscilla Alvarez is moving to the White House team as a reporter, and will also continue to cover immigration.
Alvarez joined CNN in January 2019 as a reporter covering immigration politics and policy, traveling across the country and on the border to provide first-hand accounts on the ground. She’s broken dozens of stories, including on the 2021 surge of unaccompanied migrant children at the US southern border and on immigration policy changes. She was also nominated for an Emmy for the CNN team’s coverage of Haitian migrants converging at the border.
Alvarez, who’s fluent in Spanish, grew up in Leesburg, Virginia, and briefly lived in Panama. She’s a graduate of Virginia Tech where she majored in journalism and world politics and policy.
She’s currently based in Washington, D.C., where she’s on the board of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists DC chapter.
Arlette Saenz, Jasmine Wright, Jeremy Diamond, Natasha Bertrand, Kate Bennett and Kevin Liptak will continue to cover the White House, in addition to the full White House team reporting for CNN Digital.