- The White House has banned staffers and guests from using personal devices in the West Wing.
- Some staffers have complained that the ban will make it harder for them to contact their families during busy work days.
- White House chief of staff John Kelly reportedly imposed the ban.
White House staffers and guests will no longer be able to use their personal cell phones in the West Wing.
The ban covers all personal devices and will go into effect next week, according to White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders.
White House chief of staff John Kelly imposed the ban, citing security concerns, Bloomberg reported.
Some staffers have complained that the new rule will make it harder for them to stay in touch with their families throughout the work day. But they won’t be entirely cut off from technology.
“Staff will be able to conduct business on their government-issued devices and continue working hard on behalf of the American people,” Sanders said in a statement Thursday.
But some aides still complained that government-issued phones won’t allow texting, according to Bloomberg.
- Kevin Lamarque/Reuters
Kelly was appointed chief of staff in July, following a chaotic series of staff departures that included the ousting of Kelly’s predecessor Reince Priebus, the resignation of press secretary Sean Spicer, and the firing of communications director Anthony Scaramucci.
Kelly’s move from homeland security secretary to White House chief of staff was part of a push to enact order in the West Wing, where President Donald Trump was accustomed to accepting spontaneous, freewheeling meetings and phone calls.
Those calls are now routed through Kelly first, and Trump’s friends must make official appointments in order to visit the Oval Office.
Kelly’s presence on the scene has also helped mitigate staffer leaks to the press and reportedly put pressure on Trump’s daughter Ivanka and son-in-law Jared Kushner to consider leaving their jobs at the White House.