Donald Trump is apparently learning more and more every day that being President is much more difficult than just blurting out whatever comes to mind. Sure, you can call for a boycott of Apple’s iPhones before you’re elected, but after you’re in the White House, the government decides what kind of smartphone you’re going to use… even if it happens to be an iPhone.
Donald Trump on an iPhone
So while you might think you’ll be able to do anything you want when you become president, that’s not actually the case. He seems to be learning the hard way why it’s best to keep your mouth shut until you find out what you’ll actually be able to do so that people don’t call you out for doing the opposite of what you said you would do, like use an iPhone when you said no one should use an iPhone.
White House Social Media Director Dan Scavino, Jr. revealed on Twitter that Trump is using an iPhone now.
— Dan Scavino (@DanScavino) March 29, 2017
Although Scavino clearly states that the President has been using an iPhone for the “past couple of weeks,” CNN Money notes that a “tweet bearing the hallmarks of Trump’s combative style was sent from an Android device as recently as Saturday.”
A matter of national security
The issue of him using an unsecured phone prompted some Democrats to send an official letter to Defense Secretary James Mattis in February requesting details about the kinds of mobile devices the President is using.
As President of the United States, Donald Trump has access to some very sensitive information, so U.S. intelligence agencies must ensure that he has the most secure smartphone possible. He has been criticized for using an older, unsecured Android phone even after his inauguration, despite the report that he had ditched the phone.
Now instead of using an Android phone to tweet, he’s supposedly been using the government-issued iPhone. It’s unclear whether it’s a custom model designed specifically for the President or just a standard model. Officials will not say whether any security measures are in place on Trump’s mobile devices. When Barack Obama was in office, he used various devices, including a specialized BlackBerry long after most people were using an iPhone, and later, a stripped-down phone with pure security in mind and few features.
Trump called for iPhone boycott
The tech community has always paid close attention to what kind of smartphone the world’s leaders are using, and in Trump’s case, the use of an iPhone has been met with a healthy heap of derision. While on the campaign trail, he called for a boycott of Apple’s devices until the company complied with the government’s demand to help unlock the iPhone 5c used by one of the San Bernardino shooters.
Interestingly, that very issue could be one reason the government has decided that the iPhone is secure enough for the President. Apple refused to unlock the phone used by a deceased man officials say is a terrorist, and government hackers were having a difficult time unlocking it, at least until they bought an exploit from a third party.
Even before being elected, he didn’t seem to be locked into his call for a boycott because tweets were posted from both iPhones and Android phones. Some, however, have suggested that his aides were using Apple devices to post tweets while Trump himself used an Android phone.