Last week, we learned that the White House had banned personal cellphones from the West Wing in an attempt to stop leaks. On Wednesday, Chief of Staff John Kelly decided the ban on electronic devices did not go far enough and sent out an internal memo to the staff….that memo was then leaked to the press.
According to ABC News:
In the internal memo obtained by ABC News and verified by a senior White House official Kelly said the policy — set to take effect January 16 — is intended “to protect White House information technology infrastructure from compromise and sensitive or classified information from unauthorized access or dissemination.” While the memo cites the need to protect classified information, one senior White House official says this is really more about preventing those embarrassing and politically damaging leaks that have plagued Trump’s first year in office.
Kelly’s new ban not only prohibits cell phones but also smartwatches, laptops and “devices with WiFi, Bluetooth, radio, or cellular capabilities” and “any portable device that emits an electric signal and was not issued by the White House Communications Agency.”
The memo goes on to say that people who violate the new ban will be permanently prohibited from entering the White House:
Violations of this policy by EOP staff are security incidents that may indicate knowing, willful, or negligent conduct in violation of security policy and may therefore result in disciplinary action and, for other Federal employees and visitors, may include being indefinitely prohibited from entering the White House complex.
The Trump Administration is one of the leakiest presidential administrations in history. It seems like every other day a story is coming out that embarrasses them, but the administration is also unbelievably ineffective at controlling anything. The fact that this memo was leaked is proof of that. If Kelly thinks that keeping the White House employees cut off from the outside world when they are at work is going to stop this, he is quite obviously, sadly mistaken.