Presidential candidate Donald Trump is stepping up his criticism of Apple over its fight with the FBI.
As you can see in the footage below (reportedly shot at a campaign event in Pawleys Island, South Carolina), Trump was discussing the need to bring overseas jobs back to the United States when he gets sidetracked by mentioning Apple.
“What I think you ought to do is boycott Apple until such time as they give that security number,” he said to scattered applause. “How do you like that? I just thought of it.”
As you’re probably already aware, Apple is fighting an FBI order to create a version of iOS that would make it easier for the government to unlock an iPhone — specifically the iPhone 5c belonging to one of the terrorists involved in the recent San Bernadino shooting. The company says it has cooperated with the FBI “up to this point,” but it’s unwilling to create software that “would have the potential to unlock any iPhone in someone’s physical possession.”
We’ve tried to unpack the nuances of Apple’s position, but Trump cuts through all that in typical Trump fashion:
“The phone is not even owned by this young thug that killed all these people,” he added. “The phone’s owned by the government. Not even his phone, we don’t even have to go that far. But Tim Cook is looking to do a big number, probably to show how liberal he is.”
I wasn’t sure how seriously to take the comments, especially since Trump literally shrugged and said “I just thought of it.” Others have pointed out that Trump (or someone on his staff) was using an iPhone quite recently, but he tweeted, “I use both iPhone & Samsung. If Apple doesn’t give info to authorities on the terrorists I’ll only be using Samsung until they give info.”
Boycott all Apple products until such time as Apple gives cellphone info to authorities regarding radical Islamic terrorist couple from Cal
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 19, 2016