China, Russia tap dancing around Donald Trump's cellphone

Oct 26, 2018, 01:40 IST | Agencies

NYT report claims China and Russia are eavesdropping on US President's unsecure phone, where he gossips with friends; China dismisses claims

China, Russia tap dancing around Donald Trump's cellphone

China and Russia eavesdrop on President Donald Trump as he uses his unsecure cellphone to "gossip, gripe or solicit" his friends' take on how he is doing, the New York Times reported on Wednesday, citing US intelligence agencies.

Trump's aides have repeatedly warned him that his cellphone calls are not secure, and they have told him that Russian spies are routinely eavesdropping on the calls, as well, the paper said.

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.

"Chinese spies are often listening these phone calls and putting to use invaluable insights into how to best work the president and affect administration policy," The New York Times said citing unnamed current and former US officials. The White House did not immediately respond to the report.

Report is 'fake news' for China
China on Thursday dismissed the NYT report as "fake news". "It seems certain people in the US are sparing no efforts to win the best screenplay award from the Oscars. I would like to say that this only provides another piece of evidence of the New York Times concocting fake news," said Chinese Foreign Affairs ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying. "I suggest they replace their phones with Huawei ones," Hua said.

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