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I read the other day that President Trump is handing out his personal cell phone number to world leaders encouraging them to call him directly whenever the need arises.
While I understand the direct and informal “let’s talk” gesture, I am not sure that this is such a good idea given the current state of cell phone use as we all experience it.
On a cloudy morning inside the Oval Office, a highly sensitive meeting is taking place regarding White House communication and national security . In the room are the National Security Advisor, H.R. McMaster; White House Press Secretary, Sean Spicer; and the President of the United States, Donald Trump . . .
McMaster: What is that music? Where is it coming from?
Spicer: It sounds like Hail to the Chief.
The President: Yes. It is my new ringtone.
Spicer: What happened to My Way?
The President: That was during the election, which by the way, I won in a huge landslide. The biggest landslide in history. Now I am the President of the United States. New title, new ringtone. Something . . . presidential.
Spicer: Who would be calling you on your personal phone inside the Oval Office?
The President (staring at his iPhone): It looks like a foreign number. Could be anybody.
McMaster: Mr. President, who exactly has your personal cell phone number?
The President: My wife. My kids. World leaders. You know.
McMaster: What? You gave your cell phone number out to foreign dignitaries?
The President: A few. OK, a lot. Hold on General, let me take this call, will you? Hello?
Speakerphone: Hello! We notice you have stayed in one of our luxury hotels in the past. This automatically qualifies you for an all expenses paid trip to . . .
Spicer: Mr. President, I think it’s a robo call. From one of your hotels.
The President: I wonder how they got my number.
McMaster: Mr. President, if you have freely given out your number, it could be everywhere. There is no way to preserve the security of a personal phone. Other countries could be tapping into your personal communications and recording your conversations.
The President: Who would do such a deceptive and evil thing?
McMaster: Uhhm, well, we would, sir.
President: Is that why there are all those clicking noises whenever I am on this phone? I thought it was just lousy reception. That’s why I signed that executive order for a cell tower on top of the White House.
McMaster: Mr. President, who exactly did you give your number to?
The President: You know, world leaders I have met. Lots and lots of very important world leaders from lots and lots of very important countries all over the world. It’s really tremendous how many leaders have POTUS on their cell phone address books.
McMaster: And the Russians?
The President: Oh I gave it to them during the election. They practically begged me for it.
McMaster: This is worse than I thought. Is there anybody you didn’t give your number to?
The President: Yeah, that nut bag from Australia. And the Pope.
Spicer: How come I don’t have your personal phone number, sir?
The President: Hold on. My phone is vibrating. I am getting an urgent text message. I need to read it.
Spicer: Mr. President, if it is from a world leader it should be encrypted.
The President: No. It is from Verizon. I have exceeded my data limit, but I can buy an additional 2 Mb for $15. I think we should add that to my budget proposal.
McMaster: Mr. President. Have any world leaders or diplomats actually tried to contact you on your cell phone.
The President: I received a very warm and welcoming phone call from Justin Trudeau recently. He wanted to make a deal. His inlaws are coming to New York and he is wants to reserve an executive suite in Trump Tower. But all the rooms have been booked in advance for eight years by the Saudis.
McMaster: That’s what he called you for?
The President: And two tickets to Hamilton.
Spicer: With all due respect, why is he calling you for that?
The President: Because I am the leader of the free world?
Spicer: Sir, you have lots of White House staff to take care of low level things like that.
The President: You’re right. I’ll give it to Jared to handle. Hold on, I have another urgent alert scrolling across my phone.
Spicer: Who is it from?
The President: It’s Xi Jinping. He is challenging me.
McMaster: Mr. President? Is China threatening the interest of the American people?
The President: No. He wants to play Words With Friends. He is such a loser. I beat him every time.
Spicer: How, sir?
The President (typing on his phone): Covfefe.
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