Donald Trump’s White House has been archiving text messages from aides’ work cell phones
- The White House has been archiving text messages sent and received by aides
- The messages are on their official, government cell phones
- Democrats could seek them in their impeachment inquiry
- The White House began collecting text messages from Verizon – its service provider – in early 2018
The White House has been archiving text messages sent and received by aides on their official government cell phones, a repository that Democrats could potentially use in their impeachment investigation.
It’s unclear what is on the texts – if they will harm Donald Trump or exonerate him on the allegations he held up nearly $400 million in U.S. military aid unless the Ukraine agreed to investigate the Bidens – or if Democrats will subpoena them, the Washington Examiner reported.
The White House began collecting text messages from Verizon – its service provider – in early 2018 and they will be released to the public as early as five years after Trump leaves office under the Presidential Records Act – unless Democrats go after them.
President Donald Trump’s White House has been archiving text messages sent and received by aides
Aides like acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney use text messages to communicate among themselves and with members of the media
The White House banned aides like White House Counselor from using personal cell phones in the West Wing but they can use their work cell phones
Sources told the newspaper they believe the White House does not store call detail records for official cellphones, which could make the text messages more valuable.
While the president doesn’t text many of his senior aides, including among themselves and with members of the media.
In fact many prefer texting to emailing.
‘Most of the bad actors over there think email is only evidence, and phones are the only safe bet,’ a source told the Examiner, adding: ‘I don’t want to get an invitation to Capitol Hill.’
Personal cellphones are banned in the West Wing but some officials still use them. Personal cell phones can hold encrypted apps like Signal or WhatsApp while official cell phones cannot.
In January 2018, then White House Chief of Staff John Kelly banned personal cell phones in the West Wing.
That ban includes ‘all portable electronic devices’ not issued or authorized by the White House in the West Wing from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday, regardless of whether they are turned off.
White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham takes a call outside the West Wing
White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney (left) and National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien (right) look at a cellphone during in September
White House senior adviser Jared Kushner on his cell phone outside the U.S. Trade Representative’s office in Washington D.C.
It is not always enforced.
Staffers had expressed frustration with the ban, asking how they would get in touch with their families during their 12+ hour work days at the White House.
President Trump is reported to use two iphones to talk on the phone to his friends and to use his Twitter account.