White House press secretary Sean Spicer is targeting his own staff in an effort to crack down on leaks to the media, including random phone checks overseen by White House lawyers, according to a Politico report Sunday.
Spicer had staffers leave their phones — personal and government-issued — on a table to be checked when they entered a meeting last week, sources told Politico. He also admonished potential leakers using encryption apps to scrub their actions that they can be found in violation of federal law.
“He explicitly warned staffers that using texting apps like Confide — an encrypted and screenshot-protected messaging app that automatically deletes texts after they are sent — and Signal, another encrypted messaging system, was a violation of the Federal Records Act, according to multiple sources in the room,” Politico’s Annie Karni and Alex Isenstadt wrote.
The Politico report claimed staffers are concerned about their futures amid a White House “pressure-cooker” crackdown on leaks.
Earlier this week, the State Department released a four-page memo on the dangers of leaks to the media, only to leak that memo to The Washington Post.