The Trump administration is sending mixed messages about a laptop ban expansion

Atlanta Airport TSA checkpointREUTERS/Tami Chappell

Whether or not the Department of Homeland Security will expand its laptop ban to include non-stop flights from Europe drags on.

On Tuesday, Politico reported that DHS has declined to implement an expanded laptop ban.

However, DHS spokesman David Lapin told Business Insider in an email that the “story is absolutely wrong” and that the agency will be issuing a statement in response to the article.

The Politico report contradicts Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly who said on Fox News over the weekend that the ban “might” happen.

“There’s a real threat — numerous threats against aviation. That’s really the thing that they are obsessed with, the terrorists, the idea of knocking down an airplane in flight, particularly if it’s a U.S. carrier, particularly if it’s full of mostly U.S. folks,” Secretary Kelly said on Fox News Sunday.

This follows an announcement by Lapin on Friday in which he stated that there’s no imminent change to the agency’s existing ban on large electronics.

In March, the DHS implement a ban on all electronics larger than a cell phone for non-stop flights to the US originating from 10 airports in the Middle East and North Africa.

“Evaluated intelligence indicates that terrorist groups continue to target commercial aviation and are aggressively pursuing innovative methods to undertake their attacks, to include smuggling explosive devices in various consumer items,” a senior administration official said in March.

In total, the existing ban affects roughly 50 flights a day operated by nine airlines. However, an expanded ban on flights from Europe would affect as many as 400 non-stop flights from 49 airports operated by 53 airlines.

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