On Wednesday, The New York Times reported that despite being repeatedly warned that his cell phone calls are not secure and may be tapped by foreign adversaries, President Trump refuses to stop making calls from his iPhone.
White House officials have instructed the president to use his secure White House landline, which he is increasingly doing. But, according to the report, the president continues make social calls to friends and to news organizations like Fox News from an iPhone that has been altered by the National Security Agency, but is still apparently vulnerable to having its calls intercepted.
The anonymous White House officials told The Times they were disclosing the president’s cell phone habits because they’ve become increasingly frustrated with his lackadaisical tendencies towards electronic security and fear the national security risks it creates.
Some say they are only left to hope he doesn’t discuss matters of national security while on one of his three iPhones, according to the report.
The Times’ report does claim that American spy agencies have determined that China and Russia are indeed listening in on the president’s cell phone calls and using the intelligence they collect to their advantage in instances like trade negotiations. The Chinese, for example, have put together a list of President Trump’s friends and are hoping to influence him through these trusted sources.
Apple did not immediately return Business Insider’s request for comment.
As we learned earlier this year, President Trump has two iPhones with limited features (and vulnerabilities) — one exclusively for Twitter and news apps and the other for making calls.
The Times report on Wednesday indicates that Trump also has a third iPhone — one that has not been altered by the NSA and is no different than any off-the-shelf model — to store his personal contacts. It is unclear from the report whether President Trump makes calls from this third phone.
The president is supposed to trade in his two official phones every 30 days for security purposes, though White House officials told The Times he rarely does so because of the inconvenience.
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