Executive Branch

Obama Battles DC Lawyers Over His BlackBerry

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Lawyers love their BlackBerrys, but they are advising one of their own—the president-elect—to give it up.

Barack Obama told CNBC yesterday that he is still fighting to keep the device, the New York Times notes. “I’m still clinging to my BlackBerry,” Obama said. “They’re going to pry it out of my hands.”

It wasn’t the first time Obama expressed concern about losing his BlackBerry. Those who want to wrest it from his hands fear a hacker could access his e-mail, or that it would have to be disclosed under the Presidential Records Act.

“This is a concern, I should add, not just of Secret Service, but also lawyers,” Obama said in the CNBC interview. “You know, this town’s full of lawyers. I don’t know if you’ve noticed … and they have a lot of opinions. And so I’m still in a scuffle around that. …

“I don’t know that I’ll win, but I’m still—I’m still fighting it. And—but here’s the point. … What it has to do with is having mechanisms where you are interacting with people who are outside of the White House in a meaningful way. And I’ve got to look for every opportunity to do that—ways that aren’t scripted, ways that aren’t controlled, ways where, you know, people aren’t just complimenting you or standing up when you enter into a room, ways of staying grounded.”

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