White House press secretary Sean Spicer cracked down on leaks from his own office by telling staffers to hand over their phones for a “phone check” during a meeting which itself was then leaked to the media, according to a Sunday report by Politico.
Spicer met last week with communications staffers to express his frustration over ongoing leaks, Politico reported, citing unnamed sources in the room.
He told staffers to place their phones on a table for a “phone check” of whatever devices staffers were carrying at the time, including both government-issued and personal phones, according to the report.
Politico reported, citing multiple sources, that White House lawyers were also present for the meeting.
Spicer told staffers that the use of messaging apps which are encrypted or delete messages after they are sent would violate the Federal Records Act, according to multiple unnamed sources in the room cited in the report.
According to Politico, Spicer warned those present that there would be “more problems” if news of the meeting and “phone check” was leaked to the press.
The White House did not immediately respond to TPM’s request for comment.