Donald Trump said in tonight’s Republican primary debate that ISIS is “using the Internet better than we’re using the Internet” and that we need to use our “brilliant people” to block their access. Here’s that exchange:
BLITZER: Mr. Trump. You recently suggested closing that Internet up. Those were your words as a way to stop ISIS from recruiting online. Are you referring to closing down actual portions of the Internet? Some say that would put the U.S. in line with China and north Korea.
TRUMP: Well, look, this is so easy to answer. ISIS is recruiting through the Internet. ISIS is using the Internet better than we are using the Internet and it was our idea. What I wanted to do, is I wanted to get our brilliant people from Silicon Valley and other places and figure out a way that ISIS cannot do what they’re doing. You talked freedom of speech. You talked freedom of anything you want. I don’t want them using our Internet to take our young impressionable youth and watching the media talking about how they’re masterminds. These are masterminds. They shouldn’t be using the word mastermind. These are thugs and terrible people in ISIS. Not masterminds. We have to change it from every standpoint. We should be using our brilliant people. Our most brilliant mind to figure a way that ISIS cannot use the Internet. And then, on second, we should be able to penetrate the Internet and find out exactly where ISIS is and everything about ISIS. We can do that if we use our good people.
BLITZER: Let me follow up, Mr. Trump. So, are you open to closing parts of the Internet?
TRUMP: I would certainly be open to closing areas where we are at war with somebody. I sure as hell don’t want to let people that want to kill us and kill our nation use our Internet. Yes, sir. I am.