Donald Trump Chats With Russian and Chinese Spies Each Night

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis, the election, and more, subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter.

The New York Times reports today that our commander-in-chief uses a personal iPhone that’s insecure and routinely surveilled by Russian and Chinese intelligence agencies. Despite being warned repeatedly about this, he continues to use it to call up his friends and yak all night long:

White House officials say they can only hope he refrains from discussing classified information when he is on them….They said they had further confidence he was not spilling secrets because he rarely digs into the details of the intelligence he is shown and is not well versed in the operational specifics of military or covert activities.

My spirit has been crushed over the past two years and I am no longer truly surprised by anything Donald Trump does or by how the Republican Party collectively shrugs about it. I meet each new revelation with a thousand-yard stare and then a robotic move of the mouse to see if there’s any other news I might be interested in.

And yet. Occasionally something still produces a tiny flicker of neurotransmitters somewhere in the vicinity of my amygdala. When that happens, I blink my eyes as if awakening from a stupor and take a closer look at the text on my computer screen. Text like this:

White House officials say they can only hope he refrains from discussing classified information when he is on them.

Trump is a Republican, right? This is the party that spent two years pretending to be outraged that Hillary Clinton used an unclassified network to respond to an email about a phone call to the newly-elected president of Malawi. But their reaction to the president of the United States chatting merrily away on a phone that we know the Russians and Chinese are listening in on? Apparently nothing.

But, you know, President Obama once saluted a Marine while holding a coffee cup in his hand. So I guess there’s plenty of justified outrage on both sides, amirite?

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

We Recommend

Latest