President Donald Trump reportedly continues to use his personal iPhone for business instead of a more secure government-supplied device, despite ample evidence that China and Russia have hacked the phone and are eavesdropping on his calls.
And what’s China’s response to the accusation?
There’s its blanket denial of having done anything wrong, of course. But in an unusual statement Thursday, Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying also struck a mocking tone, going so far as to suggest Trump just use a Chinese manufactured phone instead.
“If one is concerned about Apple cellphones being hacked, they can switch to using Huawei cellphones,” Hua said.
The suggestion is notable, as Huawei phones are all but banned in the U.S. over security concerns. In February, the heads of the CIA, FBI, National Security Agency and the director of national intelligence implored U.S. companies to steer clear of Huawei, which FBI Director Chris Wray warned was “beholden to foreign governments.”
(AT&T had originally planned to sell Huawei’s flagship phone this year, but hastily backed out of the deal at the last minute.)
Hua also employed a decidedly Trumpian phrase in her dismissal of the original New York Times story, calling it “fake news.”
And if a Huawei device is not secure enough, Hua suggested the Trump administration just cease communicating altogether:
“If they are still not at ease,” she said, “then in order to have an entirely secure device, they can stop using all forms of modern communication devices and cut off all ties with the outside world.”