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.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 21960

Reported Deaths: 908
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hennepin7421549
Ramsey255198
Stearns195912
Nobles14782
Anoka124156
Dakota116438
Olmsted57010
Washington55329
Kandiyohi4711
Rice3962
Clay38625
Scott3742
Wright2631
Todd2200
Sherburne2172
Mower2061
Carver1822
Benton1672
Steele1440
Martin1265
Blue Earth1191
St. Louis11413
Freeborn970
Pine850
Winona7815
Carlton730
Nicollet716
Cottonwood650
Otter Tail590
Polk592
Watonwan580
Goodhue583
Crow Wing561
Itasca537
Chisago491
Dodge460
Chippewa421
Meeker420
Le Sueur411
Jackson390
Morrison390
Becker370
Lyon360
Murray350
Isanti300
Douglas300
McLeod280
Waseca240
Rock210
Wabasha170
Mille Lacs171
Fillmore171
Swift160
Unassigned159
Pennington140
Brown132
Sibley130
Faribault130
Beltrami120
Wilkin113
Kanabec111
Cass112
Norman110
Pipestone100
Marshall90
Pope80
Wadena80
Aitkin70
Yellow Medicine60
Koochiching60
Renville50
Mahnomen51
Lincoln50
Grant30
Clearwater30
Big Stone30
Red Lake30
Lac qui Parle30
Redwood30
Traverse30
Houston20
Kittson10
Hubbard10
Lake10
Roseau10

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 17676

Reported Deaths: 477
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Polk3821112
Woodbury264028
Black Hawk169240
Linn93676
Marshall87511
Dallas86417
Johnson6057
Muscatine54540
Wapello5174
Crawford4872
Tama39824
Scott3419
Louisa3369
Dubuque32316
Jasper25716
Buena Vista2520
Pottawattamie2207
Sioux2040
Washington1848
Wright1240
Plymouth1181
Allamakee1184
Warren1120
Story951
Poweshiek888
Mahaska858
Bremer676
Henry671
Clinton601
Des Moines591
Boone550
Cedar461
Guthrie433
Taylor400
Benton391
Jones360
Monroe354
Clarke350
Iowa330
Osceola320
Shelby310
Clayton313
Buchanan310
Marion300
Webster281
Fayette260
Hamilton250
Madison251
Monona240
Winneshiek230
Cerro Gordo221
Lee210
Davis200
Grundy190
Lyon190
Harrison190
Cherokee180
Floyd181
Jefferson180
Mills160
Delaware150
Butler150
Hancock140
Keokuk140
Greene130
Sac130
Appanoose133
Humboldt130
Ida130
Hardin130
Howard120
Jackson120
Audubon121
Cass110
Clay100
Page100
Winnebago100
Dickinson90
Carroll90
Van Buren90
Chickasaw80
Franklin80
Kossuth80
Emmet70
Adair70
Montgomery60
Union60
Lucas60
Adams50
Ringgold40
Fremont40
Mitchell40
Pocahontas40
Palo Alto30
Worth30
Calhoun20
Unassigned20
Wayne10
Decatur00
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