President-elect Donald Trump says he’d be prefer using couriers, not computers, to relay critical information, but when it comes to major policy announcements, he’s still most comfortable using his Twitter account.
“No computer is safe,” Trump said Saturday night at his Mar-a-Lago estate in southern Florida, before indicating he’d prefer to simply use couriers for the “really important” messages.
And yet, just hours later, his incoming press secretary said the ever-tweeting next commander-in-chief would continue to use his Twitter account to make major policy announcements once he takes office later this month.
“There’s a new sheriff in town, and he’s going to do things first and foremost for the American people … Absolutely you’re going to see Twitter,” Sean Spicer said on ABC’s “This Week.”
“The fact of the matter is that when he tweets he gets results,” he said.
“I think it freaks the mainstream media out that he has this following of over 45 plus million people that follow him on social media, that he can have a direct conversation,” Spicer added. “He doesn’t have to have it funneled through the media.”
Throughout his insurgent campaign, Trump used his Twitter account to dress down his rivals, introduce broad and controversial policy ideas and retweet controversial posts by other users — including a handful of anti-Semitic posts.
In the nearly two months since his victory, Trump hasn’t ceased using his social media account, taking to Twitter to address companies with enormous business deals with the Pentagon and even to suggest the U.S. should expand its nuclear capability.
Those tweets have rattled and rallied financial markets and prompted diplomats and experts across the world to respond.
But despite his provocative predilection for posting on Twitter, Trump said Saturday he still doesn’t trust computers, saying he felt that secure communications should be handwritten and delivered via a middleman service dating back to ancient Rome.
“If you have something really important, write it out and have it delivered by courier, the old fashioned way because I’ll tell you what, no computer is safe,” Trump told reporters at his Florida estate when asked about the role of cyber security in his upcoming administration.
“You want something to really go without detection, write it out and have it sent by courier,” he said, before again expressing skepticism that Russia had a hand in his November win — even after the White House sanctioned its former Cold War rival for hacking into various systems during the race.
“I just want them to be sure because it’s a pretty serious charge,” Trump said.
“I know a lot about hacking and hacking is a very hard thing to prove so it could be somebody else,” he added, before cryptically saying he had info on the hackings “that other people don’t know.”
He pledged to drop a revelation by Wednesday.
The U.S. intelligence community has repeatedly said it has evidence Russia deployed government-sponsored hackers. On Thursday, the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security issued a joint report detailing their methods.
Trump, who is known to rarely send emails, frequently and fiercely attacked Hillary Clinton during the campaign for using a private email server during her tenure as secretary of state.
In recent weeks, as he’s continued to play down Russian hacking, he’s also emphasized how little he uses, and relies on, modern technology.
“I think that computers have complicated lives very greatly. The whole age of the computer has made it where nobody knows exactly what’s going on,” Trump said last week. “We have speed, we have a lot of other things, but I’m not sure we have the kind of security we need.”
In addition, Roger Stone, a longtime associated and informal adviser of Trump, told Politico last week that the mogul was still using bicycle messengers to deliver important correspondence as recently as four years ago.