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A famed Magnolia tree, at left, planted on the south grounds of the White House in Washington by President Andrew Jackson in 1835 was trimmed back Wednesday, Dec. 27, 2017. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

The White House banned staff from using their personal cell phones at work


Updated January 04, 2018 02:20 PM EST

Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders says that White House employees will soon be forbidden from using their personal cell phones at work.

“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,” she said in a statement Thursday.

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

President Trump has often railed against information leaks to the media from inside his administration.

Trump’s administration has repeatedly struggled to contain such leaks, which have plagued the White House since he entered it last year.

The White House’s change in policy follows stunning excerpts from author Michael Wolff that began publicly emerging Wednesday.

Wolff’s “Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House” is due out next week, and advance portions have painted an unflattering portrait of activities inside Trump’s administration.

Sections quoting former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon appeared Wednesday, for example, where he called a 2016 meeting at Trump Tower “treasonous” and “unpatriotic.”

President Trump’s eldest son met with a group of Russians during the controversial huddle, which took place during the height of his campaign to win the White House.

Bloomberg reported last November that the White House was considering a ban on using personal mobile phones at work.

A Trump administration official said at the time that White House chief of staff John Kelly was leading the push for the move.

Mobile devices issued by the White House are incapable of sending text message, meaning aides who prefer that method of communication may no longer be able to use it.

Other White House staff were concerned at the time that they could be accused of wasting government resources.

Aides worried that such allegations would emerge against them if they used White House-issued phones for personal calls.

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