Chinese spies are eavesdropping on President Donald Trump's cell phone calls with friends and using what they learn to try and sway him on the escalating trade war, according to a new report in The New York Times.
- Several current and former U.S. officials told The Times that the president has refused to give up on using an iPhone, although he has taken to using secure landlines more amid pressure from security professionals.
- The president was convinced to give up his Android phone when he entered government. Still, he now has three iPhones — two that were modified and secured by the NSA, and one that is a normal iPhone like any other, which he keeps and uses because he can store contacts in it, The Times reported.
- That third phone is the problem, since the interception of cell phone calls is fairly routine for governments, including the U.S. Documents released by ex-NSA contractor Edward Snowden, for example, showed that attempting to listen in on world leaders' calls was a normal practice by spy agencies.
- According to The Times, the revelation that China (and to some extent, Russia) was eavesdropping on Trump's calls came from human sources inside those governments.
- The White House did not respond to a request for comment from Task & Purpose.
- Trump, for his part, criticized the Times article in a tweet, calling it “soooo wrong!”
The so-called experts on Trump over at the New York Times wrote a long and boring article on my cellphone usage that is so incorrect I do not have time here to correct it. I only use Government Phones, and have only one seldom used government cell phone. Story is soooo wrong!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 25, 2018
- The Chinese, meanwhile, were offering this troll in response:
Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying on the @NYTimes report that China is listening into Trump's iPhone: “If they are worrying about iPhones being tapped, they can use Huawei." via @LunaLinCN
— Anna Fifield (@annafifield) October 25, 2018