Desperate and Paranoid, Trump Attempts to Ban Cell Phones from White House Staff
Trump wants to ban cell phones from White House staff
Leaking sensitive intelligence to the press has always been an ethically-mixed situation for outsiders. On the one hand, it can provide the public with information that should not have been kept private, as was the case with Edward Snowden and the revelation of PRISM. However, on the other, it can unintentionally give foreign countries access to federal government secrets.
These whistle-blowing actions have been affecting Donald Trump ever since the general election when the Access Hollywood tape of him boasting about sexually assaulting women was disclosed to the media (something that — after once admitting on national television, Trump is now denying even involved him).
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As President, the leaks have given news outlets like The Washington Post some much needed insight into the bureaucracy of the White House, going all the way back to reports of a conflict between then-White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon and Senior Advisor Jared Kushner.
Trump has made efforts in the past to stop these unintended disclosures, beginning with an ill-fated mandatory video session for all White House personnel. But now, he is apparently trying a more drastic tactic: taking away peoples’ cell phones.
As Bloomberg reports, Trump apparently thinks it best if everyone stops texting and uses a federal-issued cellular device, with the administration going so far as to make any personal calls made from those phones a publicly available record:
“People opposed to the idea also note that government record-keeping requirements mean that records of personal calls placed to and from a work mobile phone would be archived and eventually made public. Security priorities may override those concerns. Mobile phone security has been a persistent issue for the White House, and at times some top officials have also worried about staff using their personal devices to communicate with news reporters.”
Whether or not this strategy succeeds remains to be seen, but it seems clear that the Trump White House is planning desperate totalitarian measures in order to curb the leaks. Perhaps if the President wasn’t constantly pushing — and in some cases exceeding — his constitutional authority, there would not be a need for all the dark secrets his staff is keeping hidden — or in some cases, leaking to the press with dire concern.
Photo by Kevin Dietsch-Pool/Getty Images
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