John Kelly's personal cell phone was compromised, White House believes

Image credit DOD

John Kelly, the USA chief of staff, took his phone to White House tech support staff in the summer, complaining that it hadn't working properly for several months, Politico reports.

John Kelly, who also served as secretary of Homeland Security, gave his phone to the White House tech staff who then determined there was a breach, according to a Politico.

According to Politico, Mr. Kelly had not used his personal phone to conduct White House business since joining the administration.

The White House said Kelly's phone stopped working a year ago and that he has since stopped using it, although officials did not specify when use of the device ended. It's unclear if anything was accessed on the device.




It's not known which brand and model of phone is involved, but Kelly is seen using an iPhone in a number of photos, including the AP shot by Susan Walsh above.

Citing at least three United States government officials, the report said that the phone may have been compromised in December, last year. And staffers did indeed find many functions on the phone were't working. He entered the White House in January and replaced former RNC chairman Reince Preibus as chief of staff in late July. However, he is no longer in the possession of the device, the spokesman said. White House aides circulated a memo regarding the situation last month. "Really the only way to pick up on that is to do forensics on the phone". The IT department determined that the phone may have been compromised beginning in December 2016.

Trump's own cell phone use came under scrutiny during the campaign and in the early days of his administration, as he reportedly used a Samsung device running an Android operating system that was unsecured.

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