Senator asks Pentagon again for info on Trump's cellphone security

Senator asks Pentagon again for info on Trump's cellphone security
© Greg Nash

Sen. Tom CarperThomas (Tom) Richard CarperOvernight Energy: Trump rolls back Obama-era fuel efficiency standards | Controversial Keystone XL construction to proceed | Pressure mounts to close national parks amid pandemic Critics blast Trump mileage rollback, citing environment and health concerns Trump administration rolls back Obama-era fuel efficiency standards MORE (D-Del.) on Friday issued a second request to the Pentagon for information on the extent of President TrumpDonald John TrumpBiden campaign: Trump and former vice president will have phone call about coronavirus Esper: Military personnel could help treat coronavirus patients 'if push comes to shove' Schumer calls for military official to act as medical equipment czar MORE's cellphone security.

In a letter penned to Defense Secretary James Mattis, Carper voiced concern about the lack of clarity regarding the security of Trump's smartphone usage.

Trump, Carper wrote, "continues to deviate from long-established diplomatic protocols and security measures concerning his external smartphone communications."


Carper went on to express concern over conflicting reports detailing the security of the president's device.

"Despite prior reports suggesting that President Trump was using a 'secure encrypted device approved by the U.S. Secret Service,' subsequent reports indicated that the President was still using an 'old, unsecured Android phone,' " Carper wrote.

"This security lapse is all the more concerning in light of reports that President Trump has urged world leaders to contact him directly through his smartphone and that White House Chief of Staff John KellyJohn Francis KellyMORE’s personal smartphone was compromised for months," he continued.

The senator sent a similar letter in February 2017 — a letter, Carper's office says, to which Mattis has yet to respond.

Carper's request comes amid heightened tensions surrounding cybersecurity within the administration.

Last month, two House Democrats — Reps. Ted Lieu (Calif.) and Ruben GallegoRuben GallegoLawmakers highlight flights back to DC for huge coronavirus vote Hispanic Democrats demand funding for multilingual coronavirus messaging Five Latinas who could be Biden's running mate MORE (Ariz.) — sent a similar request to high-ranking White House officials demanding answers from the Trump administration on steps being taken to prevent Trump from being hacked by foreign entities.

“While cybersecurity is a universal concern, the President of the United States stands alone as the single-most valuable intelligence target on the planet,” the congressmen wrote.

“Our national security should not depend on whether the President clicks on a malicious link on Twitter or his text application, or the fortuity of foreign agencies not knowing his personal cell number,” they added.

When Trump first entered the White House last year, he was reportedly using an unsecured Android phone, which he later replaced with a secured iPhone.

An avid Twitter user, it's unclear when exactly the president ceased using his old phone for social media purposes.