In the wake of a New York Times report indicating Russian and Chinese spies are listening in on President Trump’s phone calls because he insists on using an insecure iPhone, the president denied the validity of the story by calling it “soooo wrong!” in a tweet sent from an iPhone.“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,” Trump tweeted from his iPhone Thursday morning. “I only use Government Phones, and have only one seldom used government cell phone. Story is soooo wrong!”
He followed up with another tweet, also sent from his iPhone, insisting that he “rarely” uses a cell phone and uses a government-issued phone when he does.Trump’s aides have repeatedly warned the president that his fondness for iPhone calls are a security risk, the Times reports, and have even told him that Russian spies are eavesdropping on his calls. But he won’t stop. In its report, the New York Times cited anonymous current and former U.S. officials, and their revelation that spies were listening in on the president’s phone calls came from intercepted communications between foreign officials, as well as sources inside foreign governments.It’s not the first time Trump’s casual cell phone use has flummoxed security professionals. In 2017, the president used a cell phone flashlight to read classified documents on North Korea while dining at Mar-a-Lago, essentially broadcasting what was written on them to anyone with access to his phone camera, security experts say.
Others are challenging Trump’s denial, including Omarosa Manigault Newman, the former "Apprentice" contestant who worked in the Trump administration as director of communications for the Office of Public Liaison. She tweeted Thursday that the president routinely uses a personal cell phone because he believes his government-issued phone is “buggy.”
And Trump’s lax views on security have also resulted in staffers using their personal cell phones to make secret recordings inside the White House, including one made by Manigault Newman. And Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein also reportedly joked about secretly recording Trump, in part because White House staffers had apparently declined to check his cell phone before previous meetings, the New York Times reported.Not much is known about the official phones presidents are given. Obama’s, for example, was virtually featureless: it couldn’t take photos or send texts. And most nightmarish of all for Trump, it probably couldn’t tweet.China, on the other hand, offered a constructive solution to the White House’s problem.“If they are worrying about iPhones being tapped, they can use Huawei,” foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua CHunying told the Washington Post.Cover image: U.S. President Donald Trump speaks on the telephone via speakerphone with Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto in the Oval Office of the White House on August 27, 2018 in Washington, DC. Trump announnced that the United States and Mexico have reached a preliminary agreement on trade. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)