Whistleblower Leak Source Is Likely Trump Himself

-edited

Looking for leaks? Consider the number of people Trump has in the room when he makes calls as well as the phone itself.

President Trump is looking for the source of leaks. Perhaps he should look in the mirror.

The Intercept reported on November 13 Trump Directed Diplomat to Ask Ukraine to Probe Biden in Overheard Cellphone Call

IN A JAW-DROPPING operational security lapse, President Donald Trump discussed his demand for Ukraine to open investigations of Joe Biden and other Democrats in a cellphone conversation with an American diplomat who was in a restaurant in Ukraine at the time, the House impeachment inquiry was told on Wednesday.

During that call with Gordon Sondland, the U.S. ambassador to the European Union, Trump spoke so loudly about “the investigations” that someone in the restaurant who was not on the phone could hear his words, according to Bill Taylor, the senior American diplomat in Ukraine.

It is highly likely that others were listening too. Russia’s intelligence services have previously demonstrated the capability to intercept the phone calls of American diplomats in Ukraine and make recordings that can be used to compromise or embarrass those officials.

Inconvenience to Give Up Phone

This article is over a year old, but I do not believe Trump has changed his phone procedures. There are many more similar articles.

Please consider Donald Trump Shuns iPhone Security Because it's 'Inconvenient'.

Donald Trump is reportedly shunning security advice by using at least two iPhones, refusing to allow some of them to be screened for hacking attempts because it is “too inconvenient”.

The US president, who has not used email while in office, has one iPhone capable only of making calls and another that is used as his Twitter phone, with access to a series of news sites and the social network, according to White House officials talking to Politico.

While his call-capable iPhone is issued by White House staff and is swapped out “through routine support operations” to check for hacking and other security concerns, Trump has resisted attempts to do similar for as long as five months with his Twitter phone, saying it was “too inconvenient”.

Need to Babysit

Flash forward to October 1, 2019.

Business Insider reported White House staff reportedly needed to 'babysit' Trump's phone calls with world leaders because he was often unprepared.

President Donald Trump was so frequently unprepared for conversations with world leaders that White House staff needed to sit in on his conversations to make sure Trump didn't say anything inappropriate, CNN reported.

A source familiar with how calls to foreign leaders were handled under former White House chief of staff John Kelly told CNN that several staff members would coach the president during his phone calls to avoid any diplomatic gaffes.

"Kelly always wanted a bunch of us to be there in the Oval (Office) ... to just babysit on these calls," the source said.

The White House began to limit the number of people allowed to listen in on Trump's phone calls after transcripts of his calls with the leaders of Mexico and Australia were leaked, according to The New York Times. According to CNN, the current policy typically allows four officials to listen in on calls with foreign leaders, including "the national security adviser, the National Security Council director and deputy director for that region."

A source told CNN that before Kelly left the White House in December, he would often hit "mute" on the call so people in the room could guide Trump, as he was known to sometimes go off "on random tangents" with foreign leaders.

"We were there to coach him in real-time because he was so impervious to coaching ahead of time," the source told CNN.

An unnamed intelligence official lodged a complaint in August regarding a July 25 phone call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, saying that they were deeply troubled by a phone call Trump had with a foreign leader, particularly "a promise" Trump made.

When Trump Phones Friends, the Chinese and the Russians Listen and Learn

Also in the year-old category, please consider When Trump Phones Friends, the Chinese and the Russians Listen and Learn.

Mr. Trump’s aides have repeatedly warned him that his cellphone calls are not secure, and they have told him that Russian spies are routinely eavesdropping on the calls, as well. But aides say the voluble president, who has been pressured into using his secure White House landline more often these days, has still refused to give up his iPhones. White House officials say they can only hope he refrains from discussing classified information when he is on them.

Mr. Trump’s use of his iPhones was detailed by several current and former officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity so they could discuss classified intelligence and sensitive security arrangements. The officials said they were doing so not to undermine Mr. Trump, but out of frustration with what they considered the president’s casual approach to electronic security.

American spy agencies, the officials said, had learned that China and Russia were eavesdropping on the president’s cellphone calls from human sources inside foreign governments and intercepting communications between foreign officials.

Trump Disagrees

That Tweet was sent from his unsecure iPhone.

Bring the Button Back

The button Tweet from a month ago has little to do with security, but it helps to show Trump's phone addiction. He is unhappy with Apple for removing the iPhone home button.

By the way, that change was implemented over two years ago.

Add it All Up

Add it all up and here are the questions and comments of the day:

  1. Imagine what the NSA (and foreign governments) have on him.
  2. I’m sure the military is not telling him things, especially over the phone.
  3. Did you ever wonder how the whistle blower and the press simultaneously learned of the Ukraine matter the day before the Ukrainian president was going to talk to them?

Mike "Mish" Shedlock

Comments (42)
No. 1-20
L.Ron.Hoover
L.Ron.Hoover

The old "nobody could be that stupid" defense seems to be holding up.

Country Bob
Country Bob

Trump doesn't control the volume on the phone of the person at the other end. Sondland could have turned the volume down if he wanted.

Obama had the same "smart phone" security lapses, he just had more voice and emails intercepted, while Trump has an unhealthy obsession with Twitter. That doesn't excuse Trump or Obama -- it highlights that smart phones are a problem.

As anyone with a brain has discovered with our own cell phones... they are not secure, and they are not designed to be secure. They are designed to maximize advertising revenue. The security of these devices does not change when a political leader uses them.

Most major corporations have implemented security procedures that executives are supposed to follow with cell phones and laptops... but the generation in the CEO suite right now was born before micro-transistors. Obama was born before micro-transistors, and Trump was born before that. Lots of private persons ignore the security procedures that private companies "insist" on, its not just a government problem.

Its common knowledge the FBI uses Stingray fake cell towers against whomever they don't like (criminal or dissident). The conversations are digital, so a simple radio can't play the signal like the analog phones -- but its a tiny leap from acting as a bogus cell tower to decoding the digital voice signal. Data isn't encrypted either.

Instead of exercising our Trump Derangement Syndrome yet again.... lets ask if a hostile foreign power should decide 5G signal protocol. Lets look at how we can make all cell phone communication more secure. Because its not just Obama or just Trump.

Jojo
Jojo

Trump - A clear and present danger to himself and the USA! The military may well have to take action if Congress does nothing.

Country Bob
Country Bob

Mish wrote: "3. Did you ever wonder how the whistle blower and the press simultaneously learned of the Ukraine matter the day before the Ukrainian president was going to talk to see in them?"

The president's basic schedule is public record, and the details of what phone calls are expected are known by at least 50 admins in the West Wing. Usually a lot more than that. Its naive to think any president does things without dozens of staffers knowing.

Country Bob
Country Bob

@Mish Editor I think you should do a story about the takeover early this year of Anadarko by Occidental Petroleum.

No one admitted publicly to tracking the CEO's phone (which she left in Houston, somehow that leaked even though no one was tracking it). But it was well known that Oxy was preparing a bid because the Oxy corporate jet was tracked and spotted at the Omaha NE airport just down the road from Berkshire Hathaway. Berkshire provided the funding for Oxy's takeover.

Oxy has lots of private security, and they had every incentive to keep their bid under wraps to prevent the price from going higher.

Too many people think privacy doesn't matter, but then they are shocked when Target stores knows their daughter is pregnant before they do (Target was watching items purchased, and noticed the daughter was buying things usually bought by pregnant women).

Go full Trump Derangement Syndrome. But sharper minds will note this security / privacy thing is not Trump specific

Curious-Cat
Curious-Cat

Hmmmmm. Isn't the complaint that this is a general problem missing the point? We are talking about the security of the guy who knows the most sensitive national information. A security breach for the country is infinitely more important than a security breach for Oxy. This sounds like "sure Trump did it, but what about..." Let's have a sense of relative importance please.

Stuki
Stuki

It's hardly a bad thing, that what our "servants" talk about spending our money on, is made as public as possible. The world would be a better place ,if The Donald's job came with a requirement to wear a livecasting mic 24/365.

Bill_Butlicker
Bill_Butlicker

Bears eat Beets.

Bears. Beets. Battlestar Galactica.

BUTTLICKER! OUR PRICES HAVE NEVER BEEN LOWER!!!

Harbour
Harbour

Mish was it a slow news day?

Six000mileyear
Six000mileyear

Maybe I should be President. I don't own a cell phone or have a social media account.

leicestersq
leicestersq

Another possibility here is that Trump knows that people will listen if they can, and he does all he can to leave certain signals open. We all know the example of the water problem at Midway, and how letting someone have some of your signals can be to your advantage.

And it looks to me like Trump wanted certain people to have certain information so that they would try and use that information in a way that helped Trump's agenda.

Never underestimate Trump.

Sechel
Sechel

Trump most likely uses a private cell phone because he knows he's engaged in nefarious conduct and distrusts the white house security apparatus more than foreign governments and hackers. He used a private cell because he knew his call was not a perfect one as he so likes to claim. It's not hard to analyze Trump's behavior as so much can be explained by his nefarious nature and his temperament which is not all that different from a seven year old acting naughty.

Bill_Butlicker
Bill_Butlicker

@Sechel has a wicked case of Trump Derangement Syndrome. Somebody get him a tinfoil hat!!!!

Bill_Butlicker
Bill_Butlicker

This morning, Trump snuck into @Sechel 's house and replaced all his pens and pencils with crayons.

And then he tweeted about it... very nefariously. Putin helped Trump, making @Sechel very jealous

Casual_Observer
Casual_Observer

Mish you can't believe that China 5G technology is on the up and up and also believe that they are spying on Trump.

TimeToTest
TimeToTest

Anyone ever discount the fact that maybe he lives by the “I have nothing to hide” mantra. Everything a government does should be public. Does only making it public to other countries change that?

It’s interesting how us peasants wanted a non politician in office and all the sudden he doesn’t act like a politician and we are shocked?

I like Trump for what he has torn down.

He has single handedly torn down the media, told people why we invade countries(oil),called out Joe Biden, crippled our biggest rival(China), and destroyed the lie up unbiased opinions. That was this year.

Trump is doing a fantastic job at what I wanted to do. But I didn’t expect anymore out of the guy.

djhowls
djhowls

AS if the NSA aren't intercepting everything on an Iphone. If Trump was serious he would be using Sailfish OS like the Russkies are about to do

stillCJ
stillCJ

Editor

My fake news liar meter went off when I read the first sentence: "President Donald Trump discussed his demand for Ukraine to open investigations of Joe Biden and other Democrats ". Trump never demanded anything, that's just the spin the Trump haters put on things to try to make something out of nothing. Read the transcript! Which the dem's witnesses have testified is accurate.