President Donald Trump on Thursday 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 USA administration.
Aides have repeatedly told him that his cellphone calls are not secure, but although the president has been persuaded to use his secure White House landline more often, he has refused to give up the phones, the Times said.Trump called the Times report incorrect on Thursday, and dismissed it as "long and boring".
Mr Trump pushed back against the idea that he uses insecure mobile phones, tweeting that he only uses government phones "and have only one seldom used government cell phone". "Story is soooo wrong!" In a later tweet, he said, "I rarely use a cellphone, & when I do it's government authorized". "I like Hard Lines", he wrote.
None are completely secure as calls can be intercepted as they travel through cell towers, cables and switches that make up national and global phone networks, the report said. "Just more made up Fake News!" said the US President in his reaction to the exclusive news story by The Times that China to a large extent and by Russian Federation to a lesser extent are listening to the calls made by him to his friends. White House Deputy Press Secretary Hogan Gidley said the President has only one official government iPhone, the security of which follows industry best practices and is closely managed under government supervision in conjunction with recommendations from industry partners.
National security experts say that cell phones, even those issued by the United States government, are vulnerable to eavesdropping by foreign governments.
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Central Intelligence Agency veteran John Sipher said both foreign powers "would look for any little thing - how easily was he talked out of something, (and) what was the argument that was used", according to The New York Times.
"I would like to say that this only provides another piece of evidence of the New York Times concocting fake news".
"Second if they are anxious about Apple phones being listened in on, they should swap them with Huawei phones", Hua said, referring to one of China's largest telecommunications firms, which has been largely blocked from the USA market over national security concerns.
"American spy agencies, the officials said, had learned that China and Russian Federation were eavesdropping on the president's cellphone calls from human sources inside foreign governments and intercepting communications between foreign officials", the daily added.