President Trump read his briefing on the North Korea missile launch by the light of his phone's flashlight during a dinner party at his South Florida residence, Mar-a-Lago.
Then he discussed strategy during the dinner party without retreating to a private room.
The problem with the phone
There are numerous security problems inherent in Trump continuing to use his trusty Android phone. Former President Obama's presidential phone was a heavily modified BlackBerry, and Trump has a more secure device for presidential affairs as well.
But the flashlight is particularly dangerous. It's not hard to hack a phone's camera and see whatever it's pointing at. If someone is reading classified documents by the light of a flashlight, that can be dangerous.
The problem with reading it in public
Mar-a-Lago isn't just Trump's home. It's home to lavish parties that are open to paying members. Trump reportedly started discussing strategy with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in public, potentially revealing classified information to dozens of diners.
Waiters didn't even stop bringing courses to the table as the discussion went on, CNN reports. Photos posted to Facebook (since made private) captured guests gathered around Trump as he read.
One guest snagged a photo with the man who carries the "nuclear football."
Additionally, the fact that Trump still makes money on the resort raises questions of conflict of interest. Trump reportedly crashed a wedding reception held at the club, telling Abe, "They've paid me a fortune."
One of Trump's key talking points on the campaign trail was that Hillary Clinton endangered national security by using a private server for government emails. The Washington Post pointed out this irony.
We must assume that his phone has actively been compromised for a while, and an actively compromised phone is literally a listening device.
Berkeley computer scientist Nicholas Weaver described a bleak situation to NPR when talking about the security of Trump's phone.
"It would not meet the security requirements of a teenager," Weaver said.
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