Politico has, according to three government officials, obtained confirmation that White House Chief of Staff John Kelly has been digitally compromised for months, possibly as far back as last December. Kelly, who was appointed Chief of Staff in July, was previously the head of the Department of Homeland Security.
The digital attack was first discovered after Kelly reported experiencing glitches on the device - which was his personal phone, and not the government-issued phone - for a while. White House tech support was then able to identify the device as having been compromised.
Though officials from the White House have indicated to Politico that Kelly rarely used his personal device for communications, instead relying on his government-issued device for most of his needs, there is still the possibility that the infected phone may have been used to obtain sensitive and classified information.
Kelly is no longer in possession of the device and it's not yet clear who the perpetrators of the attack were.
The incident resulted in the White House circulating a one-page memo last month, summarising the event. The development comes after the White House came under fire for the use of personal emails servers by as many as six top officials in the administration. Aides have been cautioned regarding the use of personal devices on the premises.