Trump refutes report that China is spying on his cellphone calls

Geraldine Edwards
October 25, 2018

US President Donald Trump on Thursday (Friday NZ time) denied a report that he often calls friends to gripe or solicit advice on his unsecure iPhones, allowing Chinese spies to listen in and gain valuable insights into how to deal with the US administration.

The paper also said "the officials said they were doing so not to undermine Mr. Trump, but out of frustration with what they considered the president's casual approach to electronic security".

The officials told The Times that the Chinese and the Russians had managed to eavesdrop on the calls, prompting intelligence officials to warn Trump that his cellphone calls are not secure.

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In a tweet, he insisted he only used government-approved phones.

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Earlier this month, China's USA ambassador Cui Tiankai said it was "very confusing" as to whom President Trump listened to on trade policy.

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The information Chinese spies have collected included who Trump regularly speaks to and why, The Times said, and was part of a wider lobbying effort to influence Trump's friends and business associates.

Russian Federation is not believed to be running as sophisticated an effort to influence the president as China is, according to the Times. Two of these are secure and include NSA protections that limit their risk of being compromised, while the third is a standard iPhone "that is no different from hundreds of millions of iPhones in use around the world".

"Seeing this report, I feel there are those in America who are working all-out to win the Oscar for best screenplay", Hua said at the ministry's regular briefing in Beijing on Thursday, according to the South China Morning Post.

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The snarky reply signals to the ban on the use of Huawei devices by United States government agencies, signed into law by President Trump himself back in August.

Hua said the New York Times should know if they publish this type of report it provides another piece of evidence of making fake news.

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.

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