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Donald Trump weighs on Sony crisis: ‘A form of extortion’

Calling from his New York office, Donald Trump had very definite ideas — doesn’t he always? — on Sony Pictures Entertainment’s decision to yank “The Interview” from all distribution, including theatrical, DVD and VOD.

For the real estate mogul, the possibility that the hacking of Sony was orchestrated by the North Korean government is very disturbing.

“The hardest thing to realize or to fathom — if this indeed was done by North Korea — is the power they may have over the Internet. We have thought of them as being not that sophisticated as that. But if they have this kind of power over the Internet, we’d better be a lot smarter than they’ve been going forward.

“The other thing, it again proves the Internet itself is very dangerous, because it shows what can happen today.”

Trump mentioned a historical aspect to communication to illustrate his point. “In the old days, if you were fighting a war, you’d send a courier with a sealed envelope and lots of troops around him. Now, you put something over the Internet and it’s there instantly — and it’s out there forever. My 8-year-old son knows more about computers than some people I know who are 30 years old. These hackers can break the codes, so there are a lot of mixed blessings to the computer age.”

For Trump, the Sony hacking scandal and pulling of “The Interview” from distribution is “a form of extortion. It’s a terrible thing, but it’s also a bad movie. In all fairness,  look at the other side of this. The film shows a very violent execution of this guy [Kim Jong-un]. If they did that with our president, this country would be in a state of rage — so you can understand both sides of the issue.

“But all of that being said, what comes next? Are they going to say, ‘We don’t want you to have an army anymore? ‘ At what point do you stop? There have been plenty of bad movies made and a lot of not-very-nice movies.”