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Trump's iPhone use reportedly ignores 'inconvenient' security advice

Politico reports advisers would rather swap out the devices more frequently.
Richard Lawler, @Rjcc
May 22, 2018
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Lucy Nicholson / Reuters

Tonight Politico reports that the President is using mobile devices in ways that could increase his risk of being hacked. According to "senior administration officials" Donald Trump relies on at least two iPhones -- one to make phone calls and one for Twitter.

However, unlike the iPhone eventually issued to President Obama -- that couldn't call anyone, install apps, take pictures or play music -- Trump's phone for calling includes a camera and microphone (the GPS is disabled). Those items mean if it were compromised someone could monitor the president's movements or activities. The story also cited an unnamed West Wing official who said the phones "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."

Aides reportedly want him to swap out the device used for Twitter on a monthly basis, but so far Trump has resisted that advice calling it "too inconvenient." The possibility of compromise isn't just theoretical either -- chief of staff John Kelly reportedly used a phone for months that had been compromised by some outside source.

As it stands, the President is able to override advice from aides, but it would be good to know that the next tweet declaring an investigation -- or whatever covfefe is -- came from a legitimate uncompromised source in the White House.

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