It's good for Clinton and Apple to talk about encryption, venture capitalist says

If Hillary Clinton is talking with tech giants like Apple about encryption, it's a good thing, venture capitalist Chamath Palihapitiya told CNBC's "Squawk Alley" on Wednesday.

"I think half the people in Silicon Valley don't know what encryption is," Palihapitiya said. "The reality is these are very difficult, nuanced technical concepts. And I think when you have a public stage that she does — and frankly, any politician does — I would hope that they would call the experts."

Chamath Palihapitiya speaking at the Sohn conference in New York, May 4, 2016
David A. Grogan | CNBC
Chamath Palihapitiya speaking at the Sohn conference in New York, May 4, 2016

WikiLeaks released hacked emails of John Podesta, chair of Hillary Clinton for America, drawing attention to Clinton's encryption stance, and one email appears to show an Apple employee lobbied Podesta about Apple's battle with the FBI.

The company was at odds with law enforcement earlier this year over demands to access the iPhone of San Bernardino shooter Syed Farook. Podesta has said that he does not have time to verify which of the WikiLeaks files are real.

Business Insider pointed out this summer that Clinton's language was lockstep with Apple's when it comes to encryption, despite her 2015 call for a "Manhattan-like project" to break encrypted terrorist communications.

Apple declined to comment.

While the Clinton campaign does not authenticate individual emails, representative Glen Caplin called the Wikileaks hack a "propaganda campaign." He pointed to Clinton's rival, Donald Trump's, record on cybersecurity.

"Even after being briefed by U.S. intelligence before the first debate on Russia's role in the hack, Trump has oddly chosen to coddle [Russian president Vladimir] Putin by deflecting blame," Caplin said.

But if the ties do exist, Palihapitiya said it's a positive that Clinton took the time to learn the facts from Apple and that he hopes she takes the same approach for topics like health care and education.

Palihapitiya did not address Clinton's private email server during her tenure as secretary of state, which has also been central to the cybersecurity debate. FBI Director James Comey said earlier this year that hostile actors likely gained access to accounts that Clinton had contacted during her use of a personal account, and it was possible that the hostile actors also gained access to her account, though there was no direct evidence of a breach.

"Well, here's what I'll say about Hillary — I think she is fundamentally prepared for the the job," Palihapitiya said. "I think she has a temperament to sort of bring people together and create a more pluralistic and inclusive government. Frankly, I think she has to just not trip up between now and November 8, and I think she'll win."