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An iPhone hack is at the center of the latest Trump-Russia scandal

Updated Mar 22nd, 2017 5:24PM EDT
iPhone Hack and Trump's Russia Ties
Image: Jose Sanchez/AP/REX/Shutterstock

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The Trump administration has a serious Russia problem right now, as it still can’t completely dissociate itself from the long shadow Putin’s Russia has cast over Trump’s election, or dispel all the allegations regarding Trump’s direct and indirect ties with America’s most formidable adversary. A new report offers further unflattering details about Trump’s actions during the campaign, revealing that Paul Manafort continued to play a key role in the campaign even after he resigned on account of his alleged Russia ties. More interestingly, the new revelations come from an iPhone hack.

“So I got to the bottom of it, as I suspected my dad resigned from being the public face of the campaign,” Andrea Manafort Shand texted a friend from her iPhone after her father was forced to resign in mid-August as Trump’s campaign chairman and chief strategist. “But is still very much involved behind the scenes. He felt he was becoming a distraction and that would ultimately take a toll on the campaign.”

It’s unclear how it happened, but Manafort’s daughter’s iPhone was hacked a while ago, Jezebel reports. Manafort confirmed to Politico that her daughter had been hacked, and verified the authenticity of some of the texts leaked to the media.

Apple’s iPhone may be tougher to hack, and it does a great job at protecting your privacy. But that’s only true as long as you don’t inadvertently share your iCloud password with hackers.

The texts were first discovered on the darknet by Krypt3ia in mid-February. Politico reported a week after that that Ukrainian politician Serhiy Leshchenko attempted to blackmail Manafort and contacted his daughter in an attempt to reach him.

The data file contains more than 280,000 text messages sent between October 2012 and September 2016 and appears to come from an iCloud backup of Manafort Shand’s phone, including the ones above, which don’t seem to help her father or Trump too much.

As Jezebel points out, there’s always a possibility that Manafort lied to his daughter to save face. But then, why is Sean Spicer, the White House press secretary, still lying about the timeline related to Manfort’s involvement and influence on the Trump campaign? These hacked messages will surely make Spicer’s job of minimizing Manafort’s job as a Trump advisor even harder.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.

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