Trump Chief of Staff's Phone Compromised for Months: Report

Hackers may have had access to John Kelly's personal phone since December
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 5, 2017 7:15 PM CDT
Hackers May Have Had Access to John Kelly's Phone for Months
President Trump's Chief of Staff John Kelly walks across the South Lawn to Marine One at the White House in Washington, Thursday, Sept. 14, 2017.   (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

The White House is concerned John Kelly's personal cellphone has been compromised—perhaps for the entirety of his tenure with the Trump administration, Politico reports, citing three government officials. Kelly, currently President Trump's chief of staff, turned his phone over to White House tech support staff during the summer because it wasn't working correctly. And staffers did indeed find many functions on the phone weren't working. The reason: a suspected breach of the phone.

Officials say it's possible hackers or a foreign government have had access to Kelly's personal cellphone since December—a month before he joined the administration as the secretary of Homeland Security. One expert says the worst-case scenario is that someone gained access to the phone's data and control of its functions, including the camera and microphone. It's unclear how, where, and when Kelly's phone was compromised and what, if any, data was accessed. A White House spokesperson says Kelly largely used his government-issued phone rather than his personal phone, which has now been taken away. (More John Kelly stories.)

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