National Security

Report: Foreign Governments Are Listening to Trump’s Calls

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

I think we've long suspected that foreign governments have been listening to Trump's calls.

I mean, if Omarosa was able to record her conversations with Trump, foreign intelligence agencies must have found ways to listen too, right?

The New York Times reports that, in fact, both the Chinese and Russian government have been listening to Trumps calls because he insists on using his own personal iPhone which is not secure.

WASHINGTON — When President Trump calls old friends on one of his iPhones to gossip, gripe or solicit their latest take on how he is doing, American intelligence reports indicate that Chinese spies are often listening — and putting to use invaluable insights into how to best work the president and affect administration policy, current and former American officials said.

Mr. 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. 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.

Oh.

It can be said at least once a week at this point, but if Hillary Clinton or any other Democratic president routinely spoke on insecure phones, congressional Republicans would have a conniption.

Republicans spent fours years on Benghazi and two years on emails(!) during a time when Hillary Clinton's private email server proved to be far more secure than the servers of the Democratic party, the State Department, the Central Intelligence Agency, the National Security Administration, and the Office of Personnel Management which all saw massive security breaches between 2012 and 2016.

I realize there are other things happening in the news right now, but I also don't expect our political media will spend more than a few minutes discussing this risk to national security although they happily reprinted every single misleading leak handed to them by the chicken fuckers of the House Oversight Committee.

  • Christopher Foxx

    How hard is it to take his cell phones away and not let him have any? I mean, seriously, it’s like none of the people near him have an once of intelligence or courage. I guess they want those to match their integrity.

  • katanahamon

    It’s just..the stunning, continual hypocrisy, and the media’s incompetence at calling out the lies and normalizing all this. The second a figure on “the left” stumbles, it’s “Figure X Stumbled Today…Are They Drunk, Senile, Or Committing A Felony?!?!?,” yet we have a president acting like a criminal dolt and it’s “Britney Spears..Friend Or Foe 20 Years Later.”

  • What kind of insane universe have we all been teleported to in which the President of the US private conversations are knowingly being recorded and no one in our government is strong enough to take the toddler’s phone away from him. Furthermore the ONLY action being taken is for anonymous WH sources to comfort us by saying, ‘he can’t reveal anything secret because he is too ignorant and stupid’. Gods help us.

    • Christopher Foxx

      take the toddler’s phone away from him.

      Exactly. This isn’t like a difficult problem to find an answer for.

  • muselet

    Yesterday, Marco Werman talked about China and the relationship of China and the US with David Rennie, The Economist‘s “Charlemagne” columnist.

    Rennie has a lot to say—all of it worthwhile—about China and Donald Trump. Slightly amusingly, he had this to say regarding Trump and trade tensions (starting at 5:33):

    I’m absolutely confident the Chinese don’t actually know how to play this, and I know that because reasonably senior Chinese officials are now working their way down the list of people who can explain Washington to them, and they got so low down the list they’re asking people like me. And I literally have conversations with them where I say, “I’m a reporter. It’s not my job to tell you how to handle the Americans.” But they’re asking everyone, “Is this trade war avoidable?”

    [my transcription; any mistakes are mine and not PRI’s]

    Given that, it’s logical for the Chinese to listen in on Trump’s telephone gripe sessions (the Russians feel, with some justification, that they’ve bought and paid for Trump’s presidency, so a little strategic eavesdropping is a reasonable return on investment).

    On the bright (‽) side, White House aides went on to tell the New York Times that Trump almost certainly can’t give away any secrets because he doesn’t pay attention to details. I don’t find that as reassring as it was apparently intended to be.

    Every thirty days, Barack Obama turned his phone over for examination to make sure it was still secure. Donald Trump refuses to do so because it would be inconvenient. Says a lot, that does.

    –alopecia

  • Why isn’t some journalist or some other do-gooder also intercepting President Dipshit’s calls and then turning them over to the media? It can’t be that difficult, can it?

    • What part about the double standard do you not understand? They would arrest a journalist in a heart beat. Foreign government spies though….meh. This is rhetorical, of course. I know you know.

  • Ceoltoir

    Once again, one set of rules for republican trash and a different set of rules for everyone else.

    • Victor the Crab

      Yes, I believe it’s called IOKIYAR, and IACIYAD.

  • Username1016

    He really is a world-class nincompoop, isn’t he?

    • Victor the Crab

      And his base of drooling, mouth breathing, village idiots love him for it because he speaks on their level.