Trump Gleefully Crushes Leakers, Bans Personal Cellphones From West Wing
There is no question that President Donald Trump’s White House has had an issue with leaks during his first year in office, and his administration just took a huge step that should quash those leaks — even though they insist the move was made solely for security purposes.
According to CBS News, the White House just announced a new policy that will prohibit the use of personal cellphones and other mobile devices in the West Wing, literally just a day after excerpts from an anti-Trump book presumably written via information from leakers was released to the public.
But a statement from White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders made clear that the new policy had nothing to do with leaks at all, but was focused on strengthening the White House’s cybersecurity protocols.
“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,” stated Sanders.
“Staff will be able to conduct business on their government-issued devices and continue working hard on behalf of the American people,” she added.
According to NBC News, Sanders declined to respond to questions about if the new policy would apply to Trump, and only replied, “As always we do not discuss specific security measures around the president.”
Theoretically, if the ban does apply to Trump’s personal mobile device, it could conceivably have an effect on his Twitter habits.
NBC also noted the timing of the new policy being announced right after the release of excerpts from author Michael Wolff’s new book “Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House,” which contains incredibly claims of dysfunctional infighting that could only have been obtained through leaks or a vivid imagination.
However, it is noteworthy that this new policy didn’t just materialize out of thin air, but has been in the works for months, according to an article from Bloomberg in November 2017.
That article pointed out that White House Chief of Staff John Kelly was pushing for the ban on personal cellphones, perhaps in part due to his own personal device being discovered as compromised earlier in the year.
An unnamed source familiar with the proposed ban noted that not only were there too many personal devices connected to the campus wireless network at the White House, but the personal devices used by staff and guests weren’t as secure as government-issued devices.
Previously, with an eye toward both security and the potential for leaks, the White House had already implemented a policy which required officials and staff to leave their personal devices outside of meetings where classified or sensitive material was to be discussed. This new policy seems to take that move to the next logical step.
Of course, some staffers are likely to complain about the new policy, as their government-issued devices do not allow for sending and receiving text messages, meaning some people could be disconnected from their families throughout the workday.
Furthermore, if they use their government-issued cellphones to make personal calls, they worry their conversations will be archived and eventually made public, as well as being potentially accused of wasting taxpayer money by making personal calls on federal time and property.
Regardless, it would appear that the White House is placing security needs above and beyond the personal needs of staff and guests in the White House, and though some won’t like this new policy one bit, we can’t really blame the White House for implementing it.
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