President Donald Trump still uses his three iPhones - two official, one personal - on a regular basis to call friends, business partners and acquaintances, despite warnings from us intelligence that Chinese and Russian agents may be privy to the president's conversations.
While China's recommendation of Huawei phones may have been tongue-in-cheek, Huawei Technologies Co Ltd has come under scrutiny in the United States.Intelligence agency leaders and others have said they are concerned that Huawei and other Chinese companies may be beholden to the Chinese government or ruling Communist Party, raising the risk of espionage.
Previous year national security advisers expressed concern over Trump's decision to hand over his personal cell phone number to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Mexican President Pena Nieto.
The Times, citing current and former US officials, had said that the US President uses the iPhones to speak to "old friends", and domestic spy agencies had determined China was seeking to use information from the calls to keep a trade war with the US from escalating.
Senior officials quoted by the Times also said that Beijing meant to use whatever it learned from Trump's personal conversations for its own benefit in the ongoing trade war between the world's two largest economies.
"Chinese spies are often listening to these phone calls and putting to use invaluable insights into how to best work the president and affect administration policy", the NYT said, referring specifically to the cell phone used by the president to call his friends.
None are completely secure as calls can be intercepted as they travel through cell towers, cables and switches that make up national and global phone networks, the report said.
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"The so-called experts on Trump over at The Times wrote a long and boring article on my cellphone usage that is so incorrect I do not have time here to correct it", Trump said in a Thursday tweet.
Trump has been told numerous times that he should use the White House landline, according to a report which was published by the New York Times Wednesday, but he hasn't heeded the warnings.
Russia, too, dismissed the eavesdropping allegations.
Trump pushed back against the idea that he uses insecure cellphones, tweeting Thursday that he only uses government phones "and have only one seldom used government cell phone". In a Wall Street Journal interview this week, the president said "don't give it to me on the phone".
"We already treat these sort of stories with a certain humor", said presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov.
One of China's aims, according to these reports, is to influence Trump's environment and contacts.