A new report from Politico says that White House staffers are scared working in the “hostile” work environment at the White House.
The Politico report features interviews with about a dozen unnamed aides and federal agency staffers. An anonymous Republican staffer who is close to the White House said he believes junior-level staffers are “mimicking what they’re seeing at the top… Everyone at the top is so suspicious that it trickles down the org chart, so everyone has become paranoid and suspicious.”
But others said the widespread paranoia isn’t unfounded, with press secretary Sean Spicer checking staffers’ cell phones.
“I wouldn’t call it paranoia under the circumstances. It’s not paranoia if people really are out to get you, and everybody actually is out to get everyone else.”
Politico reports some employees say they have begun turning off business phones and stuffing them in drawers when they get home at the end of the day, due to fears of being monitored. Others are choosing to remain quiet during meetings out of concern that someone will leak their comments to the press. “People are scared,” said one staffer, calling the White House “a pretty hostile environment to work in.”