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Monday, September 28, 2020

Trump: ‘No computer is safe’

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Melania Trump, right, looks on as her husband President-elect Donald Trump talks to reporters during a New Year’s Eve party at Mar-a-Lago. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

President-elect Donald Trump says that “no computer is safe” when it comes to keeping information private, expressing new skepticism about the security of online communications his administration is likely to use for everything from day-to-day planning to international relations.

Trump rarely uses email or computers, despite his frequent tweeting.

“You know, if you have something really important, write it out and have it delivered by courier, the old-fashioned way,” Trump told reporters during his annual New Year’s Eve bash. “Because I’ll tell you what: No computer is safe.”

Trump has repeatedly cast aside allegations by U.S. intelligence agencies that Russia tried to influence the presidential election through hacking. President Barack Obama ordered sanctions on Russian spy agencies last week, closed two Russian compounds and expelled 35 diplomats the U.S. said were really spies. The Russian government has denied the allegations.

Trump plans to meet with intelligence officials in coming days to learn more about the allegations. He said he wants U.S. officials “to be sure because it’s a pretty serious charge.” He pointed to intelligence failures over the existence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq before the U.S. invasion, and declared himself an expert in the area.

“I know a lot about hacking,” he said, “and hacking is a very hard thing to prove, so it could be somebody else.”

He added, cryptically, that he also knows “things that other people don’t know. And so they cannot be sure of the situation.”

Asked what he knows, he said: “You’ll find out on Tuesday or Wednesday.”

Trump made the comments during at his Mar-a-Lago club. Hundreds of guests gathered in the club’s grand ballroom, including action star Sylvester Stallone and romance novel model Fabio. Reporters were invited to watch as guests arrived.

Earlier in the day, Trump ditched his press pool, traveling to play golf at one of his clubs without journalists on hand to ensure the public has knowledge of his whereabouts.

A member of Trump’s golf club in Jupiter, Florida, posted a photo on Twitter of Trump on the greens Saturday morning and said about 25 U.S. Secret Service agents accompanied the president-elect. Reporters had not been advised of the visit to the club.

Transition aide Stephanie Grisham confirmed that Trump had made a “last-minute trip” to Trump National Golf Club Jupiter, which is about a half-hour drive from Mar-a-Lago, where Trump has been spending the holidays. He returned to the estate at midafternoon.

Grisham said that she and other aides weren’t aware of the trip and “appreciate everyone’s understanding.”

“We are in the home stretch of this transition period and don’t anticipate any additional situations like this between now and inauguration,” she said in a statement.

Before he went golfing Saturday, Trump tweeted an unusual New Year’s message to friends and foes: “Happy New Year to all, including to my many enemies and those who have fought me and lost so badly they just don’t know what to do. Love!”

With the arrival of 2017, another New Year’s message moved on Trump’s Twitter account at about midnight.

This one was decidedly more upbeat, addressed to all Americans, and included an abbreviation for his campaign slogan: Make America Great Again.

“To all Americans- HappyNewYear & many blessings to you all! Looking forward to a wonderful & prosperous 2017 as we work together to #MAGA.”

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Follow Colvin on Twitter at https://twitter.com/colvinj

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4 thoughts on “Trump: ‘No computer is safe’”

  1. There is a way to make a computer (almost) perfectly safe – You embed it into a block of cement and drop it into the Mariana Trench. It will be perfectly safe there. Usable? Not so much.

    Crossing the street isn’t perfectly safe. Nothing is. Even sitting quietly at home you can still be hit by a meteorite (look it up!). It’s all a tradeoff. Your courier can get mugged. Nothing’s safe.

    Why does anyone still believe a word this guy says?

    Jon

    PS – To Mr. Adams: Not your profession, I suspect, but twenty (er, thirty?) years ago if you went into any electronic engineering lab you’d find an entire wall of books. Each book the size of a telephone directory, and each page describing one integrated circuit chip, a vast library of documentation (mostly unused) that today isn’t there. A few clicks and a PDF is on your screen (and in some cases, the chip itself magically appears upon your schematic!). It’s a vast leap forwards, despite the risks (mostly people charging for what used to be free). J.

  2. Trumpf is of course projecting when he says every Computer is unsafe. Under his thumb you can sure as hell bet he will be BIGLY BROTHER when he wants to be. He’s right none of us will be safe from this goon and his hackers and flunkies.

  3. Y’know, I am old-fashioned about print. I own several thousand print books. I work for a library that has tens of thousands more. I make print copies of my favorite digital photos. I print copies of my writing, and I edit almost exclusively on paper. I’m like the e-version of the people who grew up in the Great Depression and never trusted banks again.

    And I still think this is kind of stupid. While there’s a lot to be said for 1954, particularly The Jack Benny Show, computers and the Internet are not going anywhere, and I for one don’t want them to. At this point the only long-term reason to write something important out on paper and have it delivered by courier is so there won’t be any incriminating evidence left over after you burn it.

  4. ““You know, if you have something really important, write it out and have it delivered by courier, the old-fashioned way”…

    “Back in the days I promised everybody I would bring back, because the Internet is complicated and it doesn’t always like me.”

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