China, Russia listening to Trump's cell phone calls

NY Times publishes Trump assassination short story

Chinese spies often eavesdrop on President Donald Trump when he uses his unsecure cellphone to gossip with old friends, and Beijing uses what it learns to try to sway USA policy, the New York Times reported on Wednesday, citing current and former us officials.

"If they are very anxious about iPhones being tapped, they can use Huawei", China's Deputy Director of the Foreign Ministry Information Department, Hua Chunying, said in response to the news, as reported by the Washington Post's Luna Lin.

Hua also dismissed the Wednesday New York Times report that China's spies are listening in on Trump's conversations as "fake news", the South China Morning Post reported.

"Second if they are anxious about Apple phones being listened in on, they should swap them with Huawei phones", Hua said, referring to one of China's largest telecommunications firms, which has been largely blocked from the USA market over national security concerns.

A Chinese spokesperson said "if there are concerns about Apple calls being listened-in on, then you can change to Huawei phones", which are not sold in the United States and have been accused of being Chinese spying devices.

According to a report by the New York Times, Trump's associates have warned him repeatedly that his calls are not secure and that Russian spies are spying on them.

Trump tweeted Thursday that the report was "incorrect" and said he used only government phones.

He also reportedly exchanged numbers with French President Emmanuel Macron. Huawei phones are effectively useless in the us because of those concerns ー they aren't offered by major retailers or carriers ー even though the handset maker is the second-largest in the world behind Samsung.

"Once more, we are confronted with the ugly reality that Republicans refuse to exercise any oversight or stand up to the president, even to implore him to protect vital national security interests", she wrote.

"It seems that Russia has not made such strong efforts like China, because of the obvious proximity of Mr. trump to the President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin" - the newspaper quoted words of a former official.

The fact that Trump blasted a report about him using his iPhone by tweeting from an iPhone caught the eye of people on Twitter. His move comes at a time when the U.S. economy has been growing robustly while Chinese growth has slowed, adding to the pressure on Beijing.

Fox News reached out to the White House early Thursday to confirm elements of the report but did not immediately get a response.

"Trump makes Hillary Clinton look pristine on secret-keeping", she said.

In 2012, a USA congressional panel said Huawei and ZTE should be barred from any mergers and acquisitions because they posed a security threat to the US.

Third, Trump doesn't have to be revealing secret sources of information to be putting national security at risk.

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