China listens to Trump’s phone calls, says report

US-IRELAND-POLITICS

US-IRELAND-POLITICS

U.S. spying agencies have discovered that Russian Federation and China are using information from Trump's appeals to try to influence the president's circle of trusted friends. "If they are very anxious about iPhones being tapped, they can use Huawei", she said, referring to the telecommunications giant that has itself raised security concerns in the United States as potentially vulnerable to Chinese intelligence agencies.

The comment comes after The New York Times published a report on Wednesday, saying that Chinese spies have been listening in on Trump's calls from his personal iPhone.

While Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hua Chunying did not directly address the snooping allegations, she told a briefing yesterday that "certain people in the United States are sparing no efforts to win the best screenplay award for the Oscars".

Earlier yesterday, The New York Times reported that President Trump nearly exclusively uses an unencrypted, unsecure personal iPhone as his communication tool, over a more secure White House-sanctioned device.

Wired took a more sober look at the accusations on Thursday, detailing some general concerns about intelligence agencies penetrating commercial cell phone systems and methods that might be theoretically used to monitor the calls of high-value government targets.

He added: "I only use Government Phones, and have only one seldom used government cellphone".

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Senior officials quoted by the Times also said that Beijing meant to use whatever it learned from Trump's personal conversations for its own benefit in the ongoing trade war between the world's two largest economies. The agencies are said to have learnt of the eavesdropping from people inside foreign governments and through intercepting communications between foreign officials, the report said.

Hua compared the report to "fake news". He noted in the tweet that he only uses government cell phone. It is unclear from the report whether President Trump makes calls from this third phone.

Among the people to whom Trump allegedly has spoken using that phone are the CEO of investment bank Blackstone Group, Stephen A. Schwarzman, and casino magnate Steve Wynn, who have ties to Beijing, according to the daily.

"Once more, we are confronted with the ugly reality that Republicans refuse to exercise any oversight or stand up to the president, even to implore him to protect vital national security interests", she wrote.

He also reportedly exchanged numbers with French President Emmanuel Macron.

During the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign, Mr Trump often attacked Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton for her use of an unsecured email server during her time as secretary of state.

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