Personal devices are now banned from Donald Trump’s White House, according to a statement from press secretary Sarah Sanders. Staff will be still be allowed to use government-issued devices, but they can’t send texts on those devices.
In a statement, Sanders attributes the ban to upholding "the security and integrity of the technology systems.” The move comes only a day after excerpts of journalist Michael Wolff’s new book Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House were released, a book that has chagrined the president. Wolff’s reporting was done through multiple staff interviews that Steve Bannon arranged, Sanders told reporters yesterday.
In response to the excerpts, Trump denounced Bannon in a public statement to reporters — including some at The New York Times — saying, “Steve pretends to be at war with the media, which he calls the opposition party, yet he spent his time at the White House leaking false information to the media to make himself seem far more important than he was. It is the only thing he does well.”
The White House had been reportedly considering a ban on personal devices for all staff since November of last year in light of leaks to media.
Still, despite these particular circumstances, it’s not uncommon for a president to ban devices in the White House. Under the Obama administration, reporters were banned from using devices in the Roosevelt room, CBS News notes.