China listens to Trump’s phone calls, says report

U.S. President Trump departs for Wisconsin from the White House in Washington

The New York Times, citing top government officials, said that despite warnings from USA intelligence services, the president so far has refused to exchange his personal cellphone for more secure communications methods, although that has been strongly recommended to him.

But the aides have said that the President, who has been pressured into using his secure White House landline more often these days, has still refused to give up his iPhones.

If the U.S.is still concerned about security, Trump could "abandon all modern communication devices and cut off contact with the outside completely", Hua said.

Responding to the Times report, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying had said that "certain people in the USA are sparing no efforts to win the best screenplay award for the Oscars".

"Chinese spies are often listening to these phone calls and putting to use invaluable insights into how to best work the president and affect administration policy", the NYT said, referring specifically to the cell phone used by the president to call his friends. Trump would prefer to use his personal iPhone because he can not store his contacts in iPhones approved by the NSA. CNN noted in April that after John Kelly became chief of staff, Trump made more calls through the White House switchboard, but by the time of the April report, the President had begun to make more calls through his cell.

Trump's aides have repeatedly warned him that his cellphone calls are not secure, The New York Times said.

The newspaper cited anonymous officials who said China and Russian Federation had listened in to Trump's frequent phone calls with friends and allies made over his iPhone, using the information gleaned to shape foreign policy.

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Mr Trump pushed back against the idea that he uses insecure mobile phones, tweeting that he only uses government phones "and have only one seldom used government cell phone".

Russia, too, dismissed the eavesdropping allegations.

"I would like to say that this only provides another piece of evidence of the New York Times concocting fake news".

Officials said the President has two official iPhones that have been altered by the National Security Agency to limit their abilities and a third personal phone.

By identifying friends of Trump who rely on Chinese business, the strategy is to "feed arguments" via these individuals in an effort to deliver a Beijing's views through trusted mouthpieces, according to the report.

The U.S. special services found out about this from the sources in the governments of the other countries and by interceptions of the communications between foreign officials.

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