Published: Sun, October 28, 2018
Global | By Enrique Rogers

China listens to Trump cellphone calls, tries to sway policy

China listens to Trump cellphone calls, tries to sway policy

The White House is yet to respond to requests for comments regarding the report.

"Reading this report, I feel that today in the United States there really are some people who are doing their utmost to win best script at the Oscars", she said.

"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.

Hua made a last cutting comment against the allegations and claimed if the United States is anxious about its security, it should just stop any use of modern communication devices and cut off contact with anyone outside its borders.

Mr Trump pushed back against the idea that he uses insecure mobile phones, tweeting that he only uses government phones "and have only one seldom used government cell phone".

Regarding her suggestion that Trump use a Huawei instead of an iPhone, this appears to be a sly reference to the U.S. government forbidding its agencies from using any technologies or services from the Chinese company.

In addition, China is now believed to be using what it is learning from the calls - how Trump thinks, what arguments tend to sway him and to whom he is inclined to listen - to try to influence Trump and avoid a further escalation of a trade war, according to multiple current and former US officials.

Shortly after Trump's tweet was sent Thursday, former aide Omarosa Manigault Newman, who was sacked in December, took to Twitter to push back against his denial.

Beijing particularly is trying to use what it learns to prevent the current trade war between the two countries from escalating further, according to the newspaper.

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Chinese spies are thought to be learning how Mr Trump can be swayed, and who is within his sphere of influence.

China wasn't going to take these concerns from the White House sitting down: Hua Chunying, spokesperson for the Chinese foreign ministry's information department, had quite the statement to offer on this matter, reports the South China Morning Post.

The U.S. Democratic National Committee warned party candidates running in November elections not to use devices from Huawei or ZTE, another major Chinese telecoms gear maker.Concerns have been raised on several occasions this year about cellphone surveillance activity in the Washington area.

Defence Secretary Jim Mattis is expected to sign an order sending the troops to the border, bolstering the approximately 2,000 National Guard troops now policing the border, anonymous officials told the Associated Press.

According to The Times' report, it is the use of any cellphone by Trump - government issued or not - that is the problem.

"It's a bit of irony that they would throw that suggestion out there", said Chen.

Mr Trump recently joked about the lack of mobile security.

Mr Trump has taken a hard line toward immigration - legal and illegal - since becoming President previous year. You're going to see a very secure border.

"And the military is ready".

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