Trump is telling world leaders to call his personal cellphone

Xavier Trudeau
Juin 2, 2017

Trump is sharing his personal digits with some world leaders, including Canada and Mexico, and extending an informal invite to ring his cellphone, the Associated Press reported on Tuesday, citing former and current US officials with knowledge of Trump's alleged practice. He has urged the leaders of Canada and Mexico to call him on his cellphone and also exchanged numbers with the president of France. Of the three leaders given the number only Mr Trudeau was said to have used it.

A French official told the Associated Press that Trump also exchanged numbers with President Emmanuel Macron during a phone call following Macron's election earlier this month, but would not comment on whether the French president meant to use the line.

Trump has reportedly already had more issues than past presidents in keeping conversations with foreign leaders private.

Presidents typically make phone calls on a highly secure line, like those in the Oval Office and the White House Situation Room.

"I imagine they locked down the phone in a variety of ways beyond removing apps", says Dan Wallach, a security expert at Rice University, by email.

The US has even surveilled its allies' unsecured communications, as was revealed when fugitive US intelligence contractor Edward Snowden in 2013 showed the National Security Agency (NSA) had allegedly tapped German Chancellor Angela Merkel's mobile phone.

Running against Mrs Clinton for the presidency, Mr Trump repeatedly criticised his rival for using a non-government email account while she was secretary of state.

President Donald Trump's decision to give his personal cell phone number to foreign leaders has sparked security concerns.

President Donald Trump's use of cell phones is raising security concerns again.

"If someone is trying to spy on you, then everything you're saying, you have to presume that others are listening to it", Chollet said.

Trudeau is the only one who has taken this advantage to speak directly with Trump via cellphone so far.

Mr Green said mobile phones are not terribly secure and the communications traverse a cellular network with well-known vulnerabilities. It was unclear whether such a phone call would be logged and archived under the Presidential Records Act of 1981, which passed in response to the Watergate scandal.

It was unclear whether an impromptu, informal call with a foreign leader would be logged and archived. Numerous functions on Obama's BlackBerry were blocked, and a very small handful of people had his phone number or email address, according to former aides. And they have likely taken elaborate precautions to maximize the security of the president's wireless communications.

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