Citing US intelligence agencies, The New York Times reported on Wednesday that China and Russian Federation eavesdrop on Donald Trump as he uses his unsecure cellphone to "gossip, gripe or solicit" his friends' take on how he is doing.
While Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hua Chunying did not directly address the snooping allegations, she told a briefing yesterday that "certain people in the United States are sparing no efforts to win the best screenplay award for the Oscars".
The Times reported that Trump's use of his iPhones to speak with friends allows Chinese and Russian to listen in on his calls to get an idea of what types of arguments are successful with the president, and who he trusts.
The report in the New York Times is " so incorrect", Mr. Trump said.
Spokeswoman Hua Chunying - deputy director of the Chinese foreign ministry's information department - also borrowed one of Trump's favourite phrases to dismiss the findings of yesterday's New York Times report, branding it "fake news". Huawei has denied that its devices are compromised in this way. 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. But President Trump would like you to know that he "rarely" uses his cellphones. "Story is soooo wrong!" the president said.
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In a statement today, Hua Chunying, the official spokesperson of China's foreign ministry, said if the U.S. is anxious about an iPhone being tapped, maybe Trump should switch to a Huawei device instead. "I like Hard Lines", he wrote. "Mainstream Media must clean up its act, FAST!" he wrote on Twitter.
The president often criticizes the N.Y. Times for its coverage of his administration and has called out numerous stories as "fake news".
Shortly after Trump's tweet was sent Thursday (Friday NZ time), former aide Omarosa Manigault Newman took to Twitter to push back against his denial.
She reported that the insecurity of Trump's calls could reveal classified information, his own exact location, and key insights into his state of mind.