Asked by Holt what he would do to prevent cyberattacks, Trump replied: “As far as the cyber . . . we should be better than anybody else, and perhaps we’re not. I don’t think anybody knows it was Russia that broke into the DNC [Democratic National Committee]. She’s saying Russia, Russia, Russia. . . . Maybe it was. . . . But it could also be China, it could also be lots of other people. It also could be somebody sitting on their bed that weighs 400 pounds.”
— Trump’s night of sniffles and screw-ups, Kathleen Parker, Washington Post, today
For nearly two days now I’ve wondered why Trump thinks the body weight of the DNC cyberattacker could be relevant to the issue of who the attacker might be. I’d thought that possibly the point was to exclude Putin, who, I’m guessing, is about 180 lbs. of solid muscle.
But after reading the quote in Parker’s column rather than just recalling it from memory, I think Trump was talking not about the weight of the cyberattacker but instead about the weight of his or her bed.
Which presents the question of why Trump thinks the weight of the cyberattacker’s bed could be relevant to the issue of who the cyberattacker might be. I don’t even have a working theory on this.
UPDATE: Reader Warren, who is helping me solve this riddle, thinks the problem is not Trump, but Parker. He offered this, in the Comments thread:
Warren / September 28, 2016 8:08 pm
The problem is not Trump, but Parker, who did not place the commas where they should have gone: “It also could be somebody, sitting on their bed, that weighs 400 pounds.”
Commas make the difference between “Let’s eat, Grandma” and “Let’s eat Grandma.”
Beverly Mann/ September 28, 2016 8:37 pm
Well, this is true. So, do you think my original theory is right that Trump thinks the body weight of the DNC cyberattacker could be relevant to the issue of who the attacker might be because if the attacker weighs 400 lbs., he or she could not be Putin?
Warren will get back to me soon, I’m sure, given the importance of this. The NSA thinks Putin is the cyberattacker, but they reached that conclusion before Monday night’s debate, and based upon this new evidence they may have jumped the gun.
Updated 9/28 at 9:03 p.m.