President Trump on Friday denied a report that he still uses a personal cell phone to make calls, insisting that he relies solely on phones issued and approved by the government.
“Fake News @CNN is reporting that I am ‘still using personal cell phone for calls despite repeated security warnings.’ This is totally false information and reporting,” Trump tweeted.
“I haven’t had a personal cell phone for years. Only use government approved and issued phones. Retract!” he added.
Fake News @CNN is reporting that I am “still using personal cell phone for calls despite repeated security warnings.” This is totally false information and reporting. I haven’t had a personal cell phone for years. Only use government approved and issued phones. Retract!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 6, 2019
The tweet came in response to a CNN report Friday evening saying that Trump still uses his personal device to make calls in spite of warnings from staffers about the threat of foreign surveillance. The network cited “multiple officials” for its report.
CNN reporter Zachary Cohen, one of the authors of the story, said in a tweet that the network stood by its reporting.
— Zachary Cohen (@ZcohenCNN) December 7, 2019
The report comes after witnesses in the House impeachment inquiry testified that top administration officials did not follow protocol to protect phone conversations — including discussions with Trump — from foreign interception.
The House Intelligence panel also released a slate of phone records showing communications between Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani; Ukrainian American businessman Lev Parnas; the Intelligence Committee’s ranking member Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.); conservative columnist John Solomon, formerly of The Hill; and the White House’s budget office.
The records do not explicitly name Trump, though Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) said investigators are looking into an “unidentified” number designated simply as “-1” in the logs, saying it could be associated with the president.
Congress’s ability to subpoena the phone records indicate that the calls were likely not made on a secure line and not made using an app that encrypts phone conversations, CNN noted.