President Trump’s cellphone was ‘left behind in a golf cart’ during a visit to his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey, two people familiar with the episode told The New York Times, the newspaper reported Wednesday.
The incident was mentioned briefly near the end of report indicating Russian and Chinese spies have eavesdropped on Mr. Trump’s cellphone conversations, illustrating security risks posed by adversaries ranging in sophistication from foreign actors to sports equipment.
“Last year, Mr. Trump’s cellphone was left behind in a golf cart at his club in Bedminster, N.J., causing a scramble to locate it,” the report said, citing two anonymous sources “familiar with what took place.”
The president spent a total of 33 days at Trump National Golf Club Bedminster during 2017, according to a TrumpGolfCount.com, a website that keeps a tally of his trips to that resort and others.
Mr. Trump has used standard, commercially available Apple iPhones to contact acquaintances, effectively bypassing security measures meant to protect the president’s conversation from eavesdroppers in spite of repeated warnings from his advisers, the New York Times reported.
Citing several current and former White House officials, the article said that U.S. intelligence agencies have assessed that China and Russia are independently eavesdropping on Mr. Trump’s cellphone calls.
Mr. Trump reacted to the report through his Twitter account Thursday, labeling it “fake news.”
“The so-called experts on Trump over at the New York Times wrote a long and boring article on my cellphone usage that is so incorrect I do not have time here to correct it. I only use Government Phones, and have only one seldom used government cell phone. Story is soooo wrong!” Mr. Trump tweeted.
A representative for the U.S. Secret Service declined to comment on the reported episode when reached by The Washington Times.