Donald Trump, of course, is famous for not understanding how modern technology works. A little over a year ago, Gizmodo’s own Matt Novak conducted an investigation and couldn’t figure out if Trump had ever used a computer. A couple weeks after his election, our billionaire president was photographed in the cool blue glow of a MacBook Pro, but he does not look confident in what he’s doing with the machine. Trump doesn’t use email, and it appears that he uses a smartphone strictly for phone calls and tweets.


Trump publicly acknowledges his love and daily use of obsolete technology. Beyond the years-old Samsung Galaxy phone he used throughout the campaign and during his early days in office, Trump is a big fan of TiVo because it lets him fast-forward through his precious TV shows, calling it “one of the great inventions of all time.” (Most smart TVs let you do anything a TiVo can do without the need to buy an extra box.) Because he doesn’t email, Trump sends praise and disapproval to reporters by fax. This stuff is sort of funny when it’s about Trump’s idiosyncratic love of old technology that he thinks “just works.” It’s absolutely terrifying when you think about how it might guide cybersecurity or defense strategy.

At the end of the day, we could be witnessing another Trumpian manipulation of the truth (also known as a lie) with his “I don’t understand digital, whatever” act. But all evidence points to the idea that President Trump actually doesn’t understand modern technology or its necessity in a changing world—and is willing to sacrifice national security as a result. He demonstrated this ignorance by avoiding cybersecurity policy and then appointing fellow luddite Rudy Giuliani to build his cybersecurity team. (This was a terrible idea from the start.) Perhaps looking for a win after the Comey controversy, Trump finally signed his cybersecurity order on Thursday afternoon. According to Politico, cybersecurity experts say that the order “breaks little new ground.”


Trump spews a lot of bullshit. We all know this by now. Who knows if he even talked to the Navy about the new digital catapult system. There’s a good chance he just saw some conservative pundit yelling about the cost on Fox News and decided to regurgitate those points in the Time interview. If there’s anything Trump does understand, it’s how to repeat what’s said on Fox News.