The House Intelligence Committee released a bevy of phone records earlier this week as part of its impeachment investigation, showing a number of calls between Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani and unidentified people in the White House. The Post, citing current and former U.S. officials, said Trump may well have been the recipient of those calls and there is no indication they were encrypted in order to deter foreign governments from listening in.
“It happens all the time,” one former aide told the Post, referring to Trump’s calls with Giuliani on unsecured devices.
The president has been criticized over his penchant for personal devices before. In May 2018, Politico reported that the president used two government-issued iPhones that didn’t have top security features. A recommendation that the phones be swapped out every month to avoid monitoring was “too inconvenient,” an official told Politico at the time.
The New York Times reported in October 2018 that U.S. intelligence reports indicated Chinese and Russian spies had been able to listen to Trump’s calls on the iPhones. He still refused to give up the devices at the time.
The president has pushed back on the various reports about his iPhone use. After the October story, he called the Times report “soooo wrong,” saying he only used government phones and that he “seldom” used government cellphones.
The Post noted that Trump had given his private cellphone number to various world leaders, and it’s unclear if and when he has conversations with them using his personal devices. The Post said that British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and French President Emmanuel Macron have the number, as does Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also reportedly has the digits.