White House bans personal cell phones from West Wing
WASHINGTON (ABC7) —
The White House is banning personal cell phones, citing security concerns. Starting next week, the Trump administration will no longer allow staff or guests to use them in the West Wing.
Employees will only be allowed to use government-issued devices. The administration says the move is designed to protect White House technology systems, but some wonder if it's really about stopping leaks to reporters.
Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said any personal devices will be stored at the West Wing entrance.
The new policy was announced just a day after the release of salacious allegations in the new book "Fire and Fury" about the inner workings of the Trump administration.
Sanders denied the personal cell phone ban is any sort of response to the book nor an attempt to stop leaks.
“That's a ridiculous characterization. This is about the security and the integrity of technology systems here at the White House,” Sanders said.
Outside the White House, many tourists gave the administration the benefit of the doubt.
“It would make sense to not allow cell phones to be used wherever they think they shouldn't be used,” said Briana Rodriguez.
“That's the thing with cell phones and technology,” added Natasha Lubczenko. “It's just like this constant flow of information which can sometimes be dangerous I think.”
But beyond government, for many reasons, some private sector employers have also banned the use of personal cell phones at work.
The White House said its policy has been in the works for more than six months. In that time, some staffers have reportedly expressed concern it will block them from communicating with family during emergencies.
It's unclear if the policy also applies to President Trump. The Associated Press reported in May he'd raised security concerns by continuing use of his personal cell phone and even handing out his number to world leaders.