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Trump slams Apple for refusing to unlock iPhones of suspected criminals

CNBC logo CNBC 6 days ago
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In a tweet, President Donald Trump addressed the conflict between the FBI and Apple over whether it is providing law enforcement with appropriate assistance to unlock the password-protected iPhones used by the shooting suspect at a Navy base in Pensacola, Florida in December.

“We are helping Apple all of the time on TRADE and so many other issues, and yet they refuse to unlock phones used by killers, drug dealers and other violent criminal elements. They will have to step up to the plate and help our great Country, NOW! MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN,” Trump tweeted.

On Monday, Attorney General William Barr claimed that Apple had not provided “substantive assistance” in unlocking the alleged shooter’s two iPhones.

In a statement late Monday, Apple responded that that it had provided gigabytes of information to law enforcement related to the Pensacola case but that it would not build a “backdoor” or specialized software to give law enforcement elevated access.

The tweet also suggested that Apple should work with the FBI because Trump helps “Apple all of the time on TRADE.”

Cook spent years developing a friendly relationship with Trump hoping to influence him and his staff away from tariffs, which would hurt the company because its products are primarily assembled in China. Apple avoided a tariff on its iPhone in December after Trump announced a so-called “phase one” trade deal.

Apple didn’t immediately return a request for comment.

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