Dems request threat assessment over Trump's cellphone usage

Dems request threat assessment over Trump's cellphone usage
© Greg Nash

Democratic senators are requesting that the intelligence community conduct a threat assessment on President TrumpDonald John TrumpBiden on Trump's refusal to commit to peaceful transfer of power: 'What country are we in?' Romney: 'Unthinkable and unacceptable' to not commit to peaceful transition of power Two Louisville police officers shot amid Breonna Taylor grand jury protests MORE's cellphone usage, asking if he's compromised classified information.

Democratic Sens. Martin HeinrichMartin Trevor HeinrichSenate Democrats demand White House fire controversial head of public lands agency Senate Democrats seek removal of controversial public lands head after nomination withdrawal Five takeaways from final Senate Intel Russia report MORE (N.M.), Ron WydenRonald (Ron) Lee WydenDemocrats call for declassifying election threats after briefing by Trump officials Read Democrats' report countering Republicans' Biden investigation Top GOP senators say Hunter Biden's work 'cast a shadow' over Obama Ukraine policy MORE (Ore.), Dick DurbinRichard (Dick) Joseph DurbinFeinstein 'surprised and taken aback' by suggestion she's not up for Supreme Court fight Grand jury charges no officers in Breonna Taylor death Democrats shoot down talk of expanding Supreme Court MORE (Ill.) and Dianne FeinsteinDianne Emiel FeinsteinFeinstein 'surprised and taken aback' by suggestion she's not up for Supreme Court fight Democrats shoot down talk of expanding Supreme Court Biden leads Trump by 12 points among Catholic voters: poll MORE (Calif.) sent a letter Thursday to Bill Evanina, Trump's counterintelligence chief, asking if information has or could be stolen by foreign governments. 

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"We are especially concerned about recent reporting that President Trump has eschewed the advice of counterintelligence experts and opted to use unsecured commercial devices for telephone calls and internet use. We believe this conduct is reckless and could endanger sensitive U.S. national security interests," the Democratic senators wrote. 

Politico reported last month that Trump was going "rouge" on his phone security by using a White House cellphone to tweet, a phone, it said, that does not have the same level of security as his predecessors' phones. 

Democrats also raised a red flag about the cellphone Trump uses to make calls having a camera and microphone, arguing such features "could be used to spy on the President and listen in on classified national security discussions." 

Democrats want the threat assessment "to determine whether sensitive government information has been exposed and whether plans, strategies, operations, or classified information have been or could be compromised by foreign adversaries due to the President’s cell phone usage." 

In addition to a threat assessment, the Democratic senators are requesting more information on unauthorized mobile surveillance devices being used more broadly around Washington, D.C.

"Although DHS has not attributed the cell-site simulator deployment to any specific entity, it is possible that foreign intelligence services or nefarious actors could attempt to intercept the President’s unsecured conversations," they wrote.