It's Confirmed: John Kelly's Cellphone Got Hacked

The breach led him to do almost everything 'by phone or face-to-face comms'
By Janet Cromley,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 9, 2018 1:30 PM CDT
It's Confirmed: John Kelly's Cellphone Got Hacked
President Donald Trump's Chief of Staff John Kelly attends a briefing on this year's hurricane season at the Federal Emergency Management Agency Headquarters, Wednesday, June 6, 2018, in Washington.   (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

An email from John Kelly to a colleague when he was secretary of Homeland Security has confirmed that the White House chief of staff’s personal email was hacked in late 2016, reports the Daily Beast. In the June 8, 2017, email, obtained by Buzzfeed through the Freedom of Information Act, Kelly told the official, "Then there is hacking which one of my own personal accounts suffered recently." He said the breach led him to do almost everything "by phone or face-to-face comms." Politico reported in 2017 that the White House technical support staff identified the breach of Kelly’s cellphone toward the end of 2016, during the transition.

Kelly is not alone. Former Communications Director Hope Hicks was hacked when she was at the White House, and the Obama administration was hacked as well, by Russians. The White House has tried to get staff to put down their cell phones with mixed results, and they've been unable to convince President Trump to stop using his phone. The president reportedly continues to use an unsecured commercial cell phone. Some of the hacking may be originating near the White House, reports the Washington Post: A government study found "signs" of sophisticated surveillance equipment near the While House grounds capable of accessing personal cell phone data. (More John Kelly stories.)

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