Trump ignores White House's secure phone rules because they are 'inconvenient', says report

Jon Sharman
Donald Trump speaks on the phone aboard Air Force One during a flight to Philadelphia in 2017: The White House

Donald Trump has shrugged off attempts by White House staff to improve the security around his mobile phones because doing so would be “inconvenient”, it has been claimed.

The US President is said to use two iPhones – having switched from Android earlier in his tenure – of which only one is capable of making phone calls.

The other device features just the Twitter app and a number of news sites, Politico reported, and both are issued by the White House’s IT and communications teams.

But Mr Trump has not heeded aides’ pleas that he use a new Twitter-enabled phone every month because it would be “too inconvenient”, Politico cited an administration official as claiming. It has reportedly been five months since the device was last checked by experts.

The White House did not comment officially but Politico cited a West Wing official as saying that “inherent capabilities and advancement in technologies” made the phones “more secure than any Obama-era devices”.

The Twitter-enabled phone’s own security features, and that of the app, have been deemed sufficient protection, that official added.

The Independent has contacted the White House for further comment.

Barack Obama, famously attached to his BlackBerry for texting and email, was eventually given by White House technicians a stripped-back handset that lacked several key features, for security purposes.

Mr Trump has previously said he believes “no computer is safe”. Last year he told guests at his New Year’s Eve party that “if you have something really important, write it out and have it delivered by courier, the old-fashioned way.

“No computer is safe. I don’t care what they say.”

Information security formed part of his constant and strident criticism of Hillary Clinton, his opponent in the 2016 presidential race.

Ms Clinton’s private email server, which she used when she was secretary of state under Mr Obama, was hacked and her private messages leaked. US intelligence agencies believe Russia was behind the breach, which it denies.

Following the reports, Norm Eisen, the former White House ethics chief, tweeted: “In the Obama transition and White House I helped with the decision to keep his ‘personal’ BlackBerry, subject to restrictions that Trump is now flouting.

“Those aren’t just about personal safety but national security. Trump doesn’t give a damn. Again.”