WH: Cell Phone Ban Has Nothing to Do with Bannon Interview; Was ‘in the Works for Over 6 Months’

By Melanie Arter | January 4, 2018 | 5:29pm EST
White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders (Screenshot of White House video)

(CNSNews.com) - The White House said Thursday that the recently announced ban on personal cell phone use in the West Wing of the White House was not in response to a soon-to-be-released book about the Trump administration which includes comments from former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon.

“Absolutely not. That's a ridiculous characterization. This is about the security and the integrity of the technology systems here at the White House. This is something that has been in process and in the works for over six months,” White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said during a White House press briefing.

“And we were making sure that all of the information and the ability for the government phones to increase their ability for other application so that we can comply with Presidential Records Act -- that was a big piece of making sure that this was done. Now that that process is completed, we can move forward and that will start next week,” Sanders said.

According to reports, Bannon told journalist Michael Wolff, whose book “Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House,” is due out next week  that the June 2016 Trump Tower meeting between senior campaign officials and a group of Russians was “treasonous.” Bannon’s comment roiled Trump, who issued a statement Wednesday, saying Bannon “not only lost his job, he lost his mind.”

Sanders announced the cell phone ban in a statement Thursday morning, saying, “The security and integrity of the technology systems at the White House is a top priority for the Trump administration and therefore starting next week the use of all personal devices for both guests and staff will no longer be allowed in the West Wing.

“Staff will be able to conduct business on their government-issued devices and continue working hard on behalf of the American people,” Sanders said.


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