President Trump reportedly asked world leaders to contact him directly on his cellphone, raising questions about security, the Associated Press reported Tuesday.
The request, which poses a risk of having the conversations of the U.S. president intercepted, breaks with diplomatic protocol.
Trump urged Canadian and Mexican leaders to call his cellphone, former and current U.S. officials with direct knowledge of the practice told the the news wire, adding that only Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has utilized the direct communication line.
The recently elected French President Emmanuel Macron and Trump exchanged phone numbers following the conclusion of the France’s election, a French official told the AP who would not say if Macron intended to take advantage of the offer.
The White House and Trudeau’s office did not respond to the news wire’s requests for comment.
AP Canadian Bureau Chief Rob Gillies said in response to the report that Trudeau is calling Trump on his cellphone.
Justin Trudeau has been calling Donald TrumpDonald Trump‘Covfefe’ trends on social media after Trump shares unfinished tweet with typo Social media reacts to report Trump gave cell number to foreign leaders House Intel Dem fires back at Nunes over Russia probe remarks MORE on his cellphone.
— Rob Gillies (@rgilliescanada) May 31, 2017
While it is a common practice for people to call one another on their cellphones, calls between world leaders are a carefully managed ordeal. Typical diplomatic protocol involves phone calls on highly secure phone lines. Trump’s decision to breach this protocol signals an ongoing distrust of official channels and modus operandi.
Even government issued cellphones are at risk of being eavesdropped by foreign governments, national security experts told the AP.
“If you are speaking on an open line, then it’s an open line, meaning those who have the ability to monitor those conversations are doing so,” said Derek Chollet, a former Pentagon adviser and National Security Council official told the AP.
A president “doesn’t carry with him a secure phone,” Chollet continued. “If someone is trying to spy on you, then everything you’re saying, you have to presume that others are listening to it.”