Chinese and Russian spies are listening to American President Donald Trump’s phone calls. The chief executive owns three iPhones, two from the government and a personal one, which he would use very regularly to call friends, business partners and acquaintances. That’s why he’s vulnerable, according to U.S. intelligence.
According to the New York Times, Trump has been told on a regular basis that he has to use the White House landline. However, the President does not do so and, in the meantime, the intelligence services are said to have resigned themselves to it. In the meantime, they are asking the president not to talk about secret matters via the iPhones.
Chinese and Russian targets
The New York Times states that the US intelligence services are convinced that Trump’s telephone calls are being tapped by Chinese and Russian intelligence services. The Chinese spies would do this mainly to find out what Trump’s next move in the trade war will be. That way, the people around Trump can be influenced better.
China is trying to do exactly what it has been trying to do for decades: American leaders influence through the informal network of prominent businessmen and academics who have contact with them. Knowing what Trump discusses on the phone can be very helpful when sending those contacts. As far as Russia is concerned, the intelligence services believe that the espionage operation is not as sophisticated as China’s, as Trump has excellent ties with Vladimir Putin.
The two government telephones that Trump owns are not a source of concern for the intelligence services. These iPhones are equipped with protection measures from the National Security Agency, which makes it difficult to intercept calls made via the devices. The main concern, however, lies with the third telephone.
The third iPhone is Trump’s private phone and exactly the same as all other iPhones on the market. This means that communication via that device can be intercepted relatively easily. Trump’s use of a normal telephone goes against the behaviour of its predecessor Barack Obama, who closely followed the protocols. Obama, for example, first had a Blackberry and later a modified iPhone that hardly functioned anymore due to all the security measures.This news article was automatically translated from Dutch to give Techzine.eu a head start. All news articles after September 1, 2019 are written in native English and NOT translated. All our background stories are written in native English as well. For more information read our launch article.