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President Trump lashes out at Apple for refusing to help the FBI unlock a shooter's iPhones: 'They will have to step up to the plate and help our great Country, NOW!' (AAPL)

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  • President Trump lashed out at Apple in a tweet Tuesday for refusing to help the FBI unlock two iPhones used by a gunman in a deadly shooting last month.
  • The FBI and Apple are still at odds over the issue, which the company has framed as a matter of preserving users' privacy.
  • Trump also said that his administration was "helping Apple all of the time," an apparent reference to the iPhone maker's negotiations with the White House over exemptions from planned tariffs on goods imported from China.
  • Apple CEO Tim Cook has forged close ties with Trump in an effort to keep him from imposing such tariffs, which would hurt Apple because its products are mostly manufactured in China. 
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories. 

President Trump lashed out at Apple in a tweet Tuesday for its refusal to help the FBI unlock two iPhones used by a gunman in a deadly shooting at a Naval base in Pensacola, Florida, last month.

"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.

Trump's mention of "helping Apple all of the time" is an apparent reference to the iPhone maker's negotiations with the White House over exemptions from planned tariffs on goods imported from China.

Apple CEO Tim Cook has worked to develop a close relationship with Trump and his administration in an effort to convince him not to impose those tariffs, which would hurt Apple becaause its products are mainly manufactured in China.

Last month, Apple narrowly avoided a 15% tariff when Trump agreed to postpone tariffs, which could have lowered demand for iPhones by 6% to 8%, experts predicted.

Trump's tweet comes after Attorney General William Barr said Apple had offered the FBI "no substantive assistance" in its investigation during a press conference on Monday.

Apple rejected Barr's characterization, telling Business Insider that its "responses to their many requests since the attack have been timely, thorough and are ongoing" and that it has produced "a wide variety of information associated with the investigation... including iCloud backups, account information and transactional data for multiple accounts."

Trump and Barr have taken issue, however, with Apple's refusal to help the FBI unlock the phones, which are password-protected. Apple has framed the issue around protecting consumers' privacy, saying that "encryption is vital to protecting our country and our users' data."

This is not the first time Trump has criticized Apple on this issue. In 2016, Trump called for a boycott of "all Apple products" after the company refused a similar request from the FBI to unlock an iPhone used in a shooting in San Bernardino. Apple argued at the time that doing so would require it to give the FBI tools to counter the company's encryption, creating a "backdoor" that could be used to access other devices.

Tweet Embed:
//twitter.com/mims/statuses/1217228960964038658?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw
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.

 

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