- The Washington Times - Friday, January 20, 2017

President-elect Donald Trump has swapped his Android smartphone for a highly secure device designed to keep his communications safe from eavesdroppers and hackers, according to reports this week.

Mr. Trump was recently forced to abandon his Android in exchange for a Secret Service-approved cellphone amid pressure from security agencies and looming concerns on the eve of his inauguration, the Associated Press and New York Times reported Thursday, citing individuals familiar with the switch.

Though details concerning the president-elect’s new phone are sparse, precedent suggests it’s been stripped of features and heavily modified to ensure Mr. Trump’s communications aren’t intercepted.

“It doesn’t take pictures, you can’t text, the phone doesn’t work … you can’t play your music on it,” President Obama said of his own government-approved smartphone during an appearance last year on “The Tonight Show.”

Indeed, Mr. Trump’s new device is likely incapable of connecting to the internet, potentially complicating the president-elect’s ability to use his platform of choice: Twitter.

Mr. Trump has fired off more than 34,000 tweets since launching his official Twitter account in 2009, and earlier this week he told the U.K.’s Sunday Times he plans to keep using his @realDonadTrump handle once in the White House.

“It’s working,” he told the Times, “and the tweeting, I thought I’d do less of it, but I’m covered so dishonestly by the press, so dishonestly, that I can put out Twitter — and it’s not 140, it’s now 280 — I can go bing bing bing … and they put it on and as soon as I tweet it out. This morning on television, Fox — ‘Donald Trump, we have breaking news.’”

Prior to his election, Mr. Trump told CNN’s Anderson Cooper that he dictates his tweets during the day, but pens and publishes themselves at night.

“During the day, I’m in the office, I just shout it out to one of the young ladies who are tremendous … I’ll just shout it out, and they’ll do it,” he said in an April interview. “But during the evenings, after 7 o’clock or so, I will always do it by myself.”

Effective noon Friday, however, Mr. Trump will likely be at the mercy of aides when he’s itching to tweet, regardless of the hour.

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