Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said on the Senate floor on Thursday that Donald Trump “is guilty of creating a real national security threat every time he picks up his cell phone to call Sean Hannity or Rudy Giuliani.”
“It is amazing,” said Schumer.
Giuliani is the president’s lawyer, and Sean Hannity hosts a nationally syndicated radio host and Fox News program.
On Monday, Politico published a story headlined: “‘Too inconvenient’: Trump goes rogue on phone security.”
“President Donald Trump uses a White House cellphone that isn’t equipped with sophisticated security features designed to shield his communications, according to two senior administration officials — a departure from the practice of his predecessors that potentially exposes him to hacking or surveillance,” Politico claimed.
The report said Trump uses one iPhone to make calls and another to make tweets.
“While aides have urged the president to swap out the Twitter phone on a monthly basis, Trump has resisted their entreaties, telling them it was ‘too inconvenient,’ the same administration official said. The president has gone as long as five months without having the phone checked by security experts.”
The White House immediately rebutted the Politico story.
“The White House is forcefully pushing back on a report that asserts that President Donald Trump's cell phones are not equipped with sufficiently advanced security features and that the president has resisted efforts to swap out the phones as frequently as they should be,” ABC News reported on Tuesday.
ABC quoted a White House official as saying: “The president has accepted every device and process related to mobile phones recommended by White House Information Technology.”
The official told ABC: “The call-capable phones are seamlessly swapped out on a regular basis through routine support operations. … Because of the security controls of the Twitter phone and the Twitter account, it does not necessitate regular change out.”
Here is the claim that Schumer made on the Senate floor on Thursday:
“Meanwhile, the President continues to risk our national security by using an unsecured cell phone for some of his communications. When the Washington Post asked a national security expert the odds of a foreign adversary having gained access to the President’s unsecured cell phone, the expert responded: ‘100 percent, the question is how many foreign powers.’
“So, while President Trump points the blame finger in every direction and was relentless that Hillary Clinton broke security protocols, he is guilty of creating a real national security threat every time he picks up his cell phone to call Sean Hannity or Rudy Giuliani. It is amazing. It is utterly amazing, the times we are living in, and it amazes me so that our colleagues on the other side of the aisle still remain silent—still remain silent. Who would have thought.”