President Trump reportedly refuses to stop using a White House cell phone that is not secure. Two senior administration officials say Trump claims that following security protocols for phone usage is “too inconvenient.”
According to a report by Politico, Trump uses two iPhones or more. One is only equipped to make calls, while the other is preloaded with the Twitter app and news sites. These phones are issued to the president by White House Information Technology and the White House Communications Agency. These agencies are staffed by military personnel who are trained and informed on how to keep the president, the White House and the entire administration safe. They have stressed the importance of swapping out the Twitter phone on a monthly basis to be examined, but Trump refuses. It has been at least five months since Trump’s phone was examined and swapped out.
The president’s stubbornness could impact government and overall U.S. safety due to the risk of hacking. Politico quotes Nate Jones, former director of counterterrorism on the National Security Council, as saying, “Foreign adversaries seeking intelligence about the U.S. are relentless in their pursuit of vulnerabilities in our government’s communications networks, and there is no more sought-after intelligence target than the president of the United States.” According to The Verge,, during President Obama’s time in office, he had both the camera and the microphone taken out to decrease the risk of hacking and spreading classified information to adversaries. Trump’s phone has been stripped of its GPS capabilities, but no information has been released to confirm that his camera and microphone have been removed.
The Politico report notes that the White House has declined to comment on the current situation, but they did receive a statement from a senior West Wing Official who said Trump’s phones with calling capabilities “are seamlessly swapped out on a regular basis through routine support operations. Because of the security controls of the Twitter phone and the Twitter account, it does not necessitate regular change-out.” When asked about the camera and microphone in Trump’s phone, the official told Politico, “Due to inherent capabilities and advancement in technologies, these devices are more secure than any Obama-era devices.” Obama-era devices, as in phones from two years ago? Technology is advancing rapidly, but the iPhone Trump uses isn’t somehow hacker-proof.
This seems to all come down to Trump not wanting his iPhone taken away for a few hours because he can’t be apart from Twitter for that long. Yet, due to the recent leaks arriving from the West Wing, phone usage amongst staffers has been highly restricted and somehow these restrictions do not apply to the president. Pair that with Trump’s advisor’s referring to him as the “leaker-in-chief” during his campaign and his refusal to have his personal phone checked for security purposes, and this issue becomes more than suspicious—it becomes a matter of national safety.