MOSCOW, October 25. /TASS/. A New York Times article claiming that Russian intelligence agencies are allegedly eavesdropping on US President Donald Trump’s cellphone calls amuses the Kremlin, Russian Presidential Spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters.
"Nowadays, we tend to get amused at such publications," he noted.
The Kremlin spokesman suggested that the newspaper should be requested to clarify that report since it "presumably has some detailed information in this regard, which provided grounds for such a publication." According to Peskov, the Kremlin regretted that the newspaper "thoughtlessly publishes information, which demonstrates the decreasing level of journalistic responsibility."
The New York Times wrote earlier citing "current and former American officials" that "when President Trump calls old friends on one of his iPhones to gossip, gripe or solicit their latest take on how he is doing, American intelligence reports indicate that Chinese spies are often listening and putting to use invaluable insights into how to best work the president and affect administration policy." The US president’s aides say that Trump "who has been pressured into using his secure White House landline more often these days, has still refused to give up his iPhones." According to the New York Times, China seeks to find out "what arguments tend to sway him [Trump] and to whom he is inclined to listen - to keep a trade war with the United States from escalating further."
"Russia is not believed to be running as sophisticated an influence effort as China because of Mr. Trump’s apparent affinity for President Vladimir V. Putin," a former official said, as cited by the newspaper. However, "White House officials say they can only hope he [Trump] refrains from discussing classified information when he is on them."
Politico said earlier that one of the two iPhones provided to Trump by the White House Information Technology and the White House Communications Agency had a Twitter app installed on it, while the other was meant for calls, but the US president used the first one for both calling his friends and posting on Twitter. The problem is that the phone "isn’t equipped with sophisticated security features designed to shield his [Trump’s] communications.".