White House press secretary Sean Spicer recently checked his aides' cellular phones to ensure they were not communicating with reporters as part of an effort to stem the recent tide of White House leaks, CNN reported Sunday.
According to the network, which cited sources with knowledge of the matter, Spicer called staff into his office last week to reiterate his frustration with the leaks. He informed them that the use of encrypted texting apps, like Signal and Confide, was a violation of the Federal Records Act.
Then, with White House counsel Don McGahn standing by, Spicer reportedly asked his staff to provide him with their cell phones so he could ensure they were not using those apps or corresponding privately with reporters.
Spicer asked to review both his staff's government-issued and personal cell phones, the sources told CNN. He also specifically asked his staff not to leak information about the meeting or his efforts to crack down on leaks to the media, one source said.
The meeting comes as the White House increases security measures to address President Donald Trump's anger over leaks from administration officials and staffers.
Spicer was reportedly particularly frustrated with the fact that the decision to appoint Mike Dubke as White House communications director, which CNN first reported, was leaked to the press a week earlier, the sources said.
Spicer declined to comment on the meeting.
The report on the incident comes amid Trump’s continued feud with mainstream media which has continuously portrayed him in a negative manner.
On Friday, the White House raised the ire of several media outlets when it blocked a number of them, particularly ones that have covered Trump negatively, from covering Spicer’s question-and-answer session.
On Saturday, Trump announced he would not attend the annual White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner.