President Donald Trump utilizes a phone not equipped with top security attributes and has rejected repeated efforts by his team to harden his devices against hackers, Politico reported Monday.
Trump frequently uses at least 2 government-issued iPhones — a “burner” device capable only of making forecasts, and another that’s loaded with a Twitter program and “a handful of news sites,” according to Politico, which stated former government security experts criticized the president’s telephone practices.
Trump’s call-only phone includes a camera and mic — attributes that may be exploited by hackers, Politico reported, citing two senior administration officials as sources. As for the telephone Trump uses for Twitter, the president allegedly has rebuffed his team’s information to swap the device every month, stating it would be “too inconvenient.”
Trump’s attitude toward his communications protection contrasts with Hillary Clinton’s use of a personal email server throughout her tenure as secretary of state — something Trump and his allies have assailed for years.
Politico stated Trump has gone for as long as five weeks without even getting his Twitter phone checked by security specialists. The GPS trackers on both of Trump’s apparatus have reportedly been deactivate
The White House declined to comment for the Politico story. A senior West Wing official advised the outlet the call-only phones “are swapped out on a regular basis through routine support operations. Due to the security controls of the Twitter phone along with the Twitter accounts, it doesn’t require regular change-out.”
Monday’s report is the second recently to raise questions about security surrounding Trump’s cellphones.
Security experts expressed concern that the president has been exposing himself to security risks, such as hacking and eavesdropping by foreign governments.
“Use of personal smartphones, which may not have all of the security features of government-issued tablets or be regularly updated to address newly discovered vulnerabilities, present a clear possible security risk,” Mary McCord, a former leader of the Justice Department’s national security department, told CNN.
Similar warnings were repeated this week.
“Foreign adversaries seeking intelligence concerning the U.S. are persistent in their pursuit of vulnerabilities in our administration’s communications networks, and there isn’t any more sought-after intelligence goal than the president of the USA,” Nate Jones, a former director of counterterrorism on the National Security Council during the Obama era, told Politico.
Ignoring telephone security for the sake of convenience, “could pose significant dangers to the country,” Jones added.
The White House declared in January that staff and guests would be prohibited from using personal cellphones in the West Wing for safety reasons. Press secretary Sarah Sanders declined to say whether the limitation would apply to Trump’s personal apparatus, reported NBC News.
People on social websites voiced alarm at the documented security shortcomings of their president’s phone usage.