Donald Trump says he doesn’t even know what a ‘burner phone’ is — meaning, he couldn’t possibly have used one to subvert the Presidential Records Act, by carrying out secret phone conversations that wouldn’t have appeared on White House logs. The problem with that denial is that it keeps being refuted by people in a position to know the truth.
As Washington Poste reports, John Bolton — who served as national security advisor under Trump — has already called out the lie and said that Trump used the term previously. He’s also talked about concerns that people were listening in to his phone conversations.
That’s not all — the Independent reports that in his lawsuit against his niece, Mary Trump, over her speaking to reporters about the then-president’s alleged financial crimes, he specifically accused a New York Times reporter of providing his niece with a burner phone, to keep their communications hidden.
Now, a former government official, Miles Taylor, who was the Department of Homeland Security’s deputy chief of staff when he released an anonymous op-ed about insiders trying to circumvent Trump’s worst instincts, is speaking out, too, saying it goes further.
In a tweet, Taylor said that Trump had asked about burner phones, and that he’d also heard the then-President was asking about how to ‘wiretap’ or listen in on the private conversations of White House staff.
Trump not only asked senior aides about “burner phones,” but I remember some telling me he wanted to “wiretap” White House staff.
A paranoid president is a dangerous president.
— Miles Taylor (@MilesTaylorUSA) March 31, 2022
“A paranoid president is a dangerous president,” Taylor said.
The question of burner phones — cheap phones that aren’t attached to a name, so they can be used without easy tracing — came up because of the unexplained gap in White House phone records on January 6th, during a period of time when Trump is known to have made contact with legislators, and when other documents show additional contact with unknown individuals.
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Steph Bazzle reports on social issues and religion for Hill Reporter. She focuses on stories that speak to everyone's right to practice what they believe in and receive the support of their communities and government officials. You can reach her at Steph@HillReporter.com