U.S. President Donald Trump reportedly asked world leaders to contact him directly on his cellphone, which is a violation of the diplomatic protocol and therefore poses a risk of having the conversations of the President intercepted, AP reports.
Trump urged Canadian and Mexican leaders to call his cellphone, former and current U.S. officials with direct knowledge of the practice told the news wire, adding that only Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau has used the direct communication line.
Recently elected French president Emmanuel Macron and Trump exchanged phone numbers following the conclusion of the France’s election, a French official told AP.
Calls between world leaders are a carefully managed ordeal, as the typical diplomatic protocol involves phone calls on highly secure phone lines. Trump’s decision to breach this protocol signals an ongoing distrust of official channels and modus operandi.
Even Government issued cellphones are at risk of being eavesdropped by foreign governments, national security experts said.
“If you are speaking on an open line, then it’s an open line, meaning those who have the ability to monitor those conversations are doing so. A president doesn’t carry with him a secure phone. If someone is trying to spy on you, then everything you’re saying, you have to presume that others are listening to it”, Derek Chollet, a former Pentagon adviser and National Security Council official, underscored.