China and Russian Federation 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 U.S. intelligence agencies.
Of course, it's not necessary to actually bug the president's phone if he's going to simply chat over an unsecured line.
China has sought to use the information to form ties with Trump's associates or "friends of the Trump friends" to ensure Beijing's views will be delivered to the president, according to the officials cited in the report.
Hua also dismissed the Wednesday New York Times report that China's spies are listening in on Trump's conversations as "fake news", the South China Morning Post reported. As the Times noted, it did not make calls, send or receive text messages, and it was only enabled to use a single secure email address in limited circulation.
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She reported that the insecurity of Trump's calls could reveal classified information, his own exact location, and key insights into his state of mind.
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American spy agencies, the officials said, had learned that China and Russian Federation were eavesdropping on the president's cellphone calls from human sources inside foreign governments and intercepting communications between foreign officials.
The report said China was especially interested in trying to use what it learns to stop the current trade war between the two countries. The Chinese, for example, have put together a list of President Trump's friends and are hoping to influence him through these trusted sources.
And she suggested a handset from one of China's biggest phone manufacturers might be more secure.