A spokeswoman for the China Foreign Ministry has suggested President Trump switch to a Huawei phone after the New York Times reported that Chinese and Russian spies are most likely tapping the US President's iPhones.
Using Trump's favorite way to disparage articles he did not find appealing, Hua claimed that by making these accusations or publishing such a report, the New York Times just provided one more evidence that it is making the fake news. South China Morning Post reports that Hua Chunying, spokeswoman for the foreign ministry, said that if Trump is anxious about his iPhone being tapped, he should switch to Huawei (the implication being that a Huawei phone would be more secure).
The intelligence community has always been concerned that Trump's use of his personal iPhones potentially opens his communications to surveillance by foreign adversaries, including the Chinese and Russians, U.S. officials said.
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".
He also reportedly exchanged numbers with French President Emmanuel Macron.
According to The Times' report, it is the use of any cellphone by Trump - government issued or not - that is the problem.
Hua offered three recommendations to the United States daily and the Trump administration. China tightly censors domestic media and routinely rejects critical foreign media reporting about the ruling Communist Party as biased or fabricated.
Lastly, Hua recommended "they should stop using any modern communication equipment and cut off contact with the outside" if they want to ensure absolute security.
"We already treat these sort of stories with a certain humor", said presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov.
Read the full report in The New York Times.
"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. "All in all, we, by this time, are treating such material with humor".
The officials cited in The Times report said they were not overly anxious that Trump was spilling secrets on the calls.
The New York Times reports that American agents believe China is in fact listening in to the President's private calls. The officials said they were doing so not to undermine Trump, but out of frustration with what they considered the president's casual approach to electronic security.