Last night the New York Times reported that the governments of Russia and China have been listening in on the phone calls that Donald Trump has been making from his unsecured personal iPhone, as he keeps refusing to use the government-encrypted iPhones that have been provided to him. Trump tried responding to the story but – how can we say this – it came out far less coherent than he might have been hoping.
Donald Trump posted two different tweets about the scandal, three hours apart, raising questions about whether one or both of them might have come from staffers. First he posted this: “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!”
Then he posted this: “The New York Times has a new Fake Story that now the Russians and Chinese (glad they finally added China) are listening to all of my calls on cellphones. Except that I rarely use a cellphone, & when I do it’s government authorized. I like Hard Lines. Just more made up Fake News!” This is the part that goes completely off the rails. First Trump says that he’s glad the media is finally acknowledging that China is spying on his phone calls. Then he insists that it’s “fake news.”
Wait a minute, what? Donald Trump is literally arguing, in the same tweet no less, that the Chinese are and are not spying on his phone calls. Those two things can’t both be true. It’s like he’s not even trying anymore.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report