China, Russia eavesdrop on Donald Trump’s phone calls: NYT Report
- Author: Joey Payne Oct 26, 2018,
Oct 26, 2018, 0:41
Concerns about his phone use have circulated nearly since his inauguration.
Earlier this month, China's USA ambassador Cui Tiankai said it was "very confusing" as to whom President Trump listened to on trade policy.
In a tweet, he insisted he only used government-approved phones.
Trump's aides have repeatedly warned him that his mobile phone calls are not secure and that Russian spies routinely eavesdrop on the conversations, but they say the president still refuses to give up his iPhones, the Times reported.
American spy agencies learnt that Beijing and Moscow were eavesdropping on the president's calls from sources inside foreign governments and by intercepting communications between officials, it was claimed.
The Times sourced their report to "several current and former officials" who criticized Trump's phone habits, in particular, the use of a personal cell phone. By learning who Trump is talking to and about what, both countries are able to create a ring of influencers and push policy ideas to them that are then floated to the president.
Through its efforts, China reportedly identified Blackstone Group chief executive Stephen Schwarzman, who has ties to Beijing's Tsinghua University, and former Las Vegas casino mogul Steve Wynn as potential targets in an influence campaign to curb the ongoing trade war with China. Trump has, of course, insisted that the story is false, as have Chinese officials, although they managed to do it with a more insulting tone that would make International-Level Troll Vladimir Putin proud.
While China has been actively engaged in electronic espionage against Trump, the Russians are not believed to be as keen on getting the president's ear.
Apple did not immediately return Business Insider's request for comment.