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International

Hillary Rodham Clinton on “What Happened”

11:10, Thursday, 23 November, 2017
Hillary Rodham Clinton on “What Happened”

Former Secretary of State and First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton joined me for an in-depth conversation about her new book, “What Happened”.
     HRC: Well, there was no evidence of that, Hugh, and certainly the FBI, which has quite sophisticated capabilities, worked very, very hard to determine. They concluded that they couldn’t conclude that it had been, and there is no evidence that it had been. And let me just add a few points, because as you read Mike’s comments, you know, he talked about government servers. There is no doubt that our government servers at the time I was serving as secretary of State were compromised. And there is at least insofar as we know no evidence that my private server was. And I think that the Russians, encouraged by then-candidate Trump, were certainly doing everything they could to find anything that would have been on that server. Now why do I say that? Because it is clear that the only server compromised were State Department servers. Now we know that Defense Department and White House and Personnel Management, a lot of government servers were compromised. And you know, I really have no reason to believe that mine ever was. And certainly, given the FBI’s investigation, given the Russians’ absolute desire to get anything they could, there is no evidence whatsoever that my server, which remember, was set up before I chose to use it in part for convenience, I will say, as I have said many times before. And my husband’s office set it up, a former president’s office, and they had the highest level of security. I wish the government had had as high a level of security as there was on the server I used.
     HH: And my only response would be the Iranians didn’t know that Stuxnet was there, either, which brings me to high tech. And I’ll ask you first of all, looking back, do you think it was a good idea to use Stuxnet and weaponized cyber stuff?
     HRC: Well, let me say two things. One, yeah, the Iranians may not have known that, but the Russians were actively searching for my stuff. So I think there’s a difference, which again, goes to the point that my server wasn’t compromised, and the State Department was. But with respect to where we are on cyberwarfare, and I think this has to be taken seriously, you know, look. We used to fight wars before the 20th Century on land and sea. Then we added the air in the 20th Century. And now, much of what we’re going to be facing will be cyberwarfare. And that was exactly what the Russians did to us. So both our government and our private sector, as well as personal cyberattacks, are going to be the new arena. And I think with respect to Iran, and I can only talk about what’s been publicly disclosed, an effort to try to prevent Iran from being able to produce nuclear weapons was worth every tool in our toolbox. Eventually, we put a lid on their nuclear program through negotiation, which to this day, I think is so much in America’s interest. We have a lot of problems with Iran. I’d rather deal with their aggressiveness and belligerency in other ways while we don’t have to worry right now about them continuing to pursue nuclear weapons. So I think that may have been a well-known incident, but it was certainly not the only one. And we are now facing a very concerted effort by Russia in particular, you know, the Chinese have stolen information going back several years that they use for their own intelligence purposes. The Iranians have done disruption of service attacks. The North Koreans have stolen and publicized information to demonstrate both their capability and political objectives. But it is Russia that has chosen to attack the very heart of our democracy and then weaponized information by the theft of emails, by intruding into our voter registration and electoral system. And for the life of me, if we don’t take this seriously, they’re only going to keep going. This is an ongoing threat. So I think that cyber was going to emerge sooner or later as the next kind of warfare that we are going to be facing, and we are not prepared, and that’s my principal concern.
     HH: Let me wrap up by talking with you, Secretary Clinton, about big tech and about race in America. You write a lot about big tech, that you approve of Teddy Roosevelt attacking monopolies. You talk about how you’ve had alarming conversations with leading technologists in Silicon Valley about their economic disruption. I’m worried about their monopoly. I think they’ve got to go after them. But Senator McConnell, the Senate Majority Leader, told me on my MSNBC program, he suggested actually weaponizing Google, Twitter and Facebook as a way to retaliate against Russia, asking them to help us retaliate against Russia. What do you think of that idea?
     HRC: I am, I am worried about that. And let me back up, Hugh, and say a couple of things about this, because I think this is part of the overall investigation and analysis that we should be doing on not just a bipartisan basis, a non-partisan basis. You know, there is a lot to be proud of with the development of our tech companies. And the dominant roles that they play up until this point, not only in our country, but globally, and being a, you know, a real venue for information. And I am not somebody who regrets that. I think that’s absolutely to the good. Here’s the problem. The algorithms that are used to track you online have become increasingly sophisticated. And it is now clear that our tech companies have an enormous amount of private information about you and me and everybody else who ever goes online. And that information can be used to sell products, which a lot of us might be interested in, but it can also be used to stalk children, to purvey pornography, or in the case of our elections, to provide the channels for weaponizing information for political purposes. I don’t think the tech companies have come clean, yet, about everything they know about what happened on their watch. You know, you remember when people started raising questions back in the spring, you know, the response was oh, maybe there were a few sites, or maybe there was a little bit of this, or yeah, maybe an ad paid for in rubles slipped through. But I think we’re kidding ourselves if we don’t know more about the role that the tech companies played, and then try to figure out how we’re going to handle it.

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