Global News

Trump denies Chinese, Russians are listening in on his phone calls

Trump denies Chinese, Russians are listening in on his phone calls

China responded to a report that its spies listened to President Donald Trump's phone conversations.

They said United States spy agencies had learned that China and Russian Federation were eavesdropping on the president's calls from his iPhones and trying to determine what he thinks and how best to sway him. "White House officials say they can only hope he refrains from discussing classified information when he is on them", reports the Times. Trump has reportedly been urged to use the White Houses landline that is more secure, but he prefers gossiping on his personal phone. According to the Times report, aides have repeatedly warned Trump that Chinese spies are likely eavesdropping on his calls, but that fact hasn't stopped the president from calling his friends on his personal iPhone, which is no more secure than your own smartphone.

Read the full report in The New York Times.

The Times reported that Trump has two iPhones with National Security Agency upgrades, along with a third iPhone that he keeps for personal use, and only this last device allows him to store his personal contacts. But using any cell phone poses some risk.

China has sought to use the information to form ties with Trump's associates or "friends of the Trump friends" to ensure Beijing's views will be delivered to the president, according to the officials cited in the report.

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They say they learned from sources inside foreign governments, and through intercepted communications between foreign officials, that Trump's phone calls were being tapped.

MSNBC's Chris Hayes mockingly suggested Trump should "just make every single call on speakerphone on live TV".

Apple declined to comment to the Times on the president's iPhones.

There is no information on the techniques used, but it is said to be less sophisticated compared to China, as Trump has an affinity towards the Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin and believe they can influence him in global policy matters.

It's alleged that China is taking note of who Trump speaks to most frequently, so he can be targeted with pro-Chinese messages.