Frustrated by leaks in the Trump administration, the White House cracked down on staffers last week, making them pile their phones on a table to prove they had nothing to hide, Politico reported Sunday, citing sources.
White House spokesman Sean Spicer assembled the group of communication staffers in his office in the West Wing, scolded them about details of private conversations appearing in media reports and made them surrender their phones and other electronic devices to be examined, the website reported.
Spicer sought advice from White House counsel Don McGhan before calling the meeting and carrying out the “phone checks.”
He warned that encrypted messaging apps — such as Confide and Signal — violated the Federal Records Act, sources in the White House meeting told Politico.
Before the meeting at Spicer’s office, staffers had to put their electronic devices on a table, Politico reported.
Spicer expressed his frustration with the media finding out about private meetings, and made clear he didn’t want the phone checks to be leaked to the press.