Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump just called for a boycott of Apple in light of the company’s reluctance to help authorities hack into the iPhone of one of the San Bernardino shooters.
“Apple ought to give the security for that phone, OK?” Trump said at a rally in Pawley’s Island, South Carolina, on Friday.
“What I think you ought to do is boycott Apple until such time as they give that security number. How do you like that? I just thought of it. Boycott Apple!”
Earlier in the day, the Justice Department filed a new motion saying Apple must comply with the government demands.
The FBI wants the tech giant to create software letting law enforcement to access data on a work phone used by Syed Rizwan Farook, one of the attackers in the December shooting at a San Bernardino, California, community center.
Earlier this week, Apple CEO Tim Cook posted an open letter on Apple’s website calling the demand “chilling” and arguing that it “would undermine the very freedoms and liberty our government is meant to protect.”
“First of all, the phone’s not even owned by this young thug that killed all these people,” Trump said, noting that Farook worked for the county government in California. “The phone’s owned by the government, OK? Not even his phone — we don’t even have to go that far.”
Law-enforcement officials haven’t been able to get past the locking feature on Farook’s iPhone, which is equipped with a security feature that erases the phone’s data after too many unsuccessful passcode attempts.
The motion filed by the Justice Department said Apple’s refusal to unlock the phone “appears to be based on its concern for its business model and public brand marketing strategy,” according to The New York Times.
“Rather than assist the effort to fully investigate a deadly terrorist attack by obeying this court’s [order], Apple has responded by publicly repudiating that order,” prosecutors wrote in the filing.
The San Bernardino attack killed 14 people.
Farook and his wife, Tashfeen Malik, who died in a shootout with police, claimed they carried out the attack on the behalf of the terrorist group ISIS (also known as the Islamic State).
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