Donald Trump’s 10-year-old son is very good with computers and Hillary Clinton is concerned with Russia’s cyberattacks on the U.S.
Those were two tech-related takeaways from the first 2016 presidential debate. The candidates faced off on Monday evening and, unsurprisingly, it was heated. They sparred over a number subjects and briefly touched on one tech-related topic: cybersecurity.
Moderator Lester Holt asked Trump and Clinton about who’s behind cyberattacks happening against the U.S., and what should be done to stop them.
Both said cybersecurity should be a top priority. But their answers certainly differed.
Clinton spoke first, calling cyber warfare “one of the greatest challenges facing the next president.” She said attacks come from both independent groups with commercial interests, and “state actors” abroad.
She then targeted Russia and noted that she was “shocked when [Trump] publicly invited [Vladimir] Putin to hack into Americans.” Clinton has previously accused Russia of hacking into DNC computers.
“There’s no doubt now that Russia has used cyberattacks against all kinds of organizations in our country, and I am deeply concerned about this,” Clinton said.
Trump responded by referring to “the cyber,” and noting that “we should be better than anybody else, and perhaps we’re not.” He also referred to a potential hacker as a 400-pound person.
“I don’t know if we know it was Russia who broke into the DNC,” he noted. “She’s saying Russia, Russia, Russia. Maybe it was. It could also be China, it could be someone sitting on their bed that weighs 400 pounds.”
Trump called out Clinton for taking advantage of Bernie Sanders during the primary, referring to the email controversy involving Debbie Wasserman Schultz.
Here’s what Trump continued to say after that. At one point he referenced his 10-year-old son’s computer skills. The Washington Post said the answer “best exemplifies how badly Donald Trump was out of his depth in the debate.”
Look what happened to [Wasserman Schultz]. But Bernie Sanders was taken advantage of. Now, whether that was Russia, whether that was China, whether it was another country, we don’t know, because the truth is, under President Obama we’ve lost control of things that we used to have control over. We came in with an internet, we came up with the internet.
And I think Secretary Clinton and myself would agree very much, when you look at what ISIS is doing with the internet, they’re beating us at our own game. ISIS. So we have to get very, very tough on cyber and cyber warfare. It is a, it is a huge problem. I have a son.
He’s 10 years old. He has computers. He is so good with these computers, it’s unbelievable. The security aspect of cyber is very, very tough. And maybe it’s hardly do-able. But I will say, we are not doing the job we should be doing, but that’s true throughout our whole governmental society. We have so many things that we have to do better, Lester and certainly cyber is one of them.
You can read the full transcript of the debate here.