In April we reported that the FBI could be listening to Donald Trump’s cell phone calls. Now it appears that China and other countries could be listening to his phone calls also.
Politico has reported that the president uses unsecured iPhones. This means that Trump may be exposing himself to hacking or surveillance due to his use of an iPhone that he doesn’t swap out regularly.
Trump has ignored efforts by his staff to get him to swap out his Twitter phone on a monthly basis as is required by security protocols. He said that swapping phones each month would be “too inconvenient.”
A White House spokesperson incorrectly said that regular monthly phone swaps are not necessary “because of the security controls of the Twitter phone and the Twitter account.”
However according to several national security experts and officials interviewed by Politico, phones such as Trump’s remain extremely vulnerable to hacking and surveillance.
Samm Sacks of the Center for Strategic and International Studies had this to say:
“It’s baffling that Trump isn’t taking baseline cybersecurity measures at a time when he is trying to negotiate his way out of a trade war with China, a country that is known for using cyber tactics to gain the upper hand in business negotiations.”
According to Sacks and others it is very possible that Russian or Chinese intelligence services have figured out how to remotely hack into iPhones, including Trump’s.
The president’s lack of concern for the security of his electronic communications is one more example of his hypocrisy. During a June 2016 campaign speech, Trump discussed one of his favorite topics, Hillary Clinton’s e-mails: “Her server was easily hacked by foreign governments, perhaps even by her financial backers in communist China,” he said, “putting all of America and our citizens in danger, great danger.”
Hillary Clinton’s basement email server was not nearly as great a threat to national security as Donald Trump’s unsecured smart phones. Plus, it was well known and widely reported that Steve Bannon, Gary Cohn, Jared Kushner, and Reince Priebus all relied on private e-mail and electronic devices to conduct government business. Chief of Staff John Kelly’s personal cell phone was reportedly compromised for months while he served as secretary of homeland security. Trump and his entire team seem very unconcerned about national security and are not even following the lowest “baseline cybersecurity measures.”
If foreign intelligence services using highly sophisticated teams of hackers can access the electronic communications of the President of the United States this would give them a treasure trove of information, while at the same time threatening the security of the president and the entire country.
One obvious benefit to our enemies is that they would always know the president’s exact whereabouts. They could also listen to all of his conversations, and he has been known to discuss classified information in front of people without security clearances. They could read all of his texts and any direct messages he sends on Twitter.
Imagine the potential media uproar and international embarrassments that could occur if Trump’s private messages on sensitive subjects were made public. As former National Security Counterterrorism Director Nate Jones said, what Trump is doing “could pose significant risks to the country.”
Trump’s recent actions are threatening the rule of law in the United States, and now we find out that his actions are also threatening the United States itself. Lack of concern for America’s security is one more reason why he should be removed from office as quickly as possible.
I am a lifelong Democrat with a passion for social justice and progressive issues. I have degrees in writing, economics and law from the University of Iowa.