Each notes his tight rein on senior staff meetings and on the occasionally overly talkative people who attend them. McDonough was “known for his preoccupation with proper, formal process,” at the National Security Council, Buzzfeed wrote, and he’s “imported from [there] a ban on Blackberrys and other smartphones at staff meetings.”
“He doesn’t allow BlackBerrys in his office,” Bloomberg tells us. “Everyone entering must park their communication devices in the cabinet outside the door, the same rule as in the Situation Room, where security was paramount.”
And it still is. We hear the top reason McDonough bans phones owes more to worries over cybersecurity than efficiency. The goal is not having people in, say, Beijing become part of the conversation.