BREAKING NEWS Guilty verdict in Worth County animal neglect trial Full Story

White House bans personal cell phones from the West Wing

The White House is banning the use of personal cell phones within the West Wing, citing security concerns, a move tha...

Posted: Jan 4, 2018 7:03 PM
Updated: Jan 4, 2018 7:03 PM

The White House is banning the use of personal cell phones within the West Wing, citing security concerns, a move that has prompted widespread frustration amongst staffers.

"The security and integrity of the technology systems at the White House is a top priority for the Trump administration and therefore, starting next week, the use of all personal devices for both guests and staff will no longer be allowed in the West Wing," White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said in a statement Thursday morning.

Staff will still be able to use their government-issued devices

The new policy will apply to both staff and guests

Sanders said staff will continue be able to conduct business on government-issued devices.

The ban on personal cell phones does not apply to the President, a person familiar with the decision says.

The decision to ban personal cell phones had been under discussion for months, but never executed. It's an idea chief of staff John Kelly floated when he first entered the administration in July, but had not decided to enforce until now. It's unclear why the policy was announced this week.

The standard is expected to apply to everyone -- including top officials like Hope Hicks -- one person familiar with the decision tells CNN.

The policy has drawn the ire of those it will affect, with several staffers questioning how they are expected to stay in touch with their families while working 12-hour days.

One source close to the White House said "no one is happy" with the decision, adding that no one inside the West Wing believes the official explanation that the cell phone ban is for national security reasons. Instead, it's all about limiting leaks to reporters, this source said.

Another source close to White House said the policy is aimed at stopping leaking from inside the West Wing.

"It's not about being secure. It's about being suspicious," the source said.

In the early months of the Trump administration, former White House press secretary Sean Spicer reviewed his aides' personal and government-issued cell phones in an effort to ensure they weren't privately communicating with reporters amid a series of information leaks. He also informed staff that the use of encrypted messaging apps, like Signal and Confide, was a violation of the Federal Records Act.

Though Sanders said the phone ban will begin "starting next week," there has not yet been internal guidance on the policy, and it's still unclear when it will take effect. Some staffers are also still wondering whether there will be any exemptions and what the consequences would be for violating the personal cell phone ban.

Article Comments

Mason City
Overcast
51° wxIcon
Hi: 64° Lo: 36°
Feels Like: 51°
Albert Lea
Clear
52° wxIcon
Hi: 64° Lo: 38°
Feels Like: 52°
Austin
Overcast
52° wxIcon
Hi: 66° Lo: 39°
Feels Like: 52°
Charles City
Overcast
52° wxIcon
Hi: 59° Lo: 37°
Feels Like: 52°
Rochester
Broken Clouds
50° wxIcon
Hi: 62° Lo: 37°
Feels Like: 50°
A mild weekend with a few rain drops on Saturday
KIMT Radar
KIMT Eye in the sky

Latest Video

Image

Ethnic Lunch Newsroom Liveshot

Image

Chris' 10 PM Weather Forecast

Image

Sports Overtime, highlights and scores from Friday

Image

Clear Lake donut shop best in state

Image

Homelessness experienced to raise funds and awareness

Image

Battle of the Badges: rib eating contest

Image

Secretariat Statue Unveiled

Image

Kavars Trial: Guilty Verdict

Image

Cabin Coffee looks to expand in Southeastern MN

Image

DMC talks circulators

Community Events