President Donald Trump may be investigated by congressional Democrats for his reported use of iPhones despite having been informed that his conversations on those devices are being monitored by China and Russia.
@realDonaldTrump is putting personal convenience ahead of America’s national security. We need an investigation to definitively determine whether Trump has compromised classified information," tweeted Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Ore. One of his colleagues, Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., agreed, tweeting that "this is a big problem, if true. The intelligence community works hard to defend us against foreign espionage. The last thing we need is for the President to be jeopardizing national security through sheer carelessness."
The two senators were responding to a report in The New York Times which revealed that the president has continued to use his personal iPhone for a number of conversations despite being warned that China and Russia could listen in on those chats.
But aides say the voluble president, who has been pressured into using his secure White House landline more often these days, has still refused to give up his iPhones. White House officials say they can only hope he refrains from discussing classified information when he is on them.
Mr. Trump’s use of his iPhones was detailed by several current and former officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity so they could discuss classified intelligence and sensitive security arrangements. 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 Times also explained, from a technological perspective, why making calls from unsecured cell phones is inherently dangerous, at least for someone as powerful and as privy to sensitive information as the President of the United States.
But the calls made from the phones are intercepted as they travel through the cell towers, cables and switches that make up national and international cellphone networks. Calls made from any cellphone — iPhone, Android, an old-school Samsung flip phone — are vulnerable.
Trump tweeted that the Times story was in error, arguing that "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. I only use Government Phones, and have only one seldom used government cell phone. Story is soooo wrong!"
But the president's former political aide Omarosa Manigault contradicted the president's denial: