Apple's CEO Tim Cook Responds to Donald Trump's Demands to Boycott Its Products

iServed! Apple CEO Tim Cook responded to Donald Trump's recent demands that people boycott the tech company's products after Apple outright refused to crack an iPhone for the FBI.

"I haven’t talked to him so I don’t know what he thinks," Cook told Time in a new Q&A published Thursday, March 17. "The way I look at it is, Apple is this great American company that could have only happened here. And we see it as our responsibility to stand up on something like this and speak up for all these people that are thinking what we’re thinking but don’t have the voice."

Trump — who was once an Apple shareholder and iPhone user — railed against the company last month after Cook declined to comply with the FBI's order to unlock the iPhone 5c of San Bernardino terrorist Syed Farook. At a rally last month, Trump told attendees: "What I think you ought to do is boycott Apple until such time as they give that security number."

He then took to Twitter to expand upon his thoughts — and defend his own use of an iPhone, which critics were quick to call out.

Cook defended his stance to Time. "I mean too many times in history has this happened, where the government over reached, did something that in retrospect somebody should have stood up and said ‘Stop,'" Cook noted. "We see that this is our moment to stand up and say ‘Stop.’ And force a dialogue. And that dialogue may, I don’t know how it’ll go. I’m optimistic. But I don’t know at the end of the day. But I see that as our role."

The exec said it was an issue of public safety and long-term liberty. "I can think of really bad things where things were done that I’m sure people looked at and thought were good at the time. And nobody said anything," Cook noted to Time. "I do think this is something that I think will affect the wellbeing of citizens of the U.S. for decades to come, that will affect civil liberties for decades to come … To me this is a part of the foundation of what America is. Right to privacy is really important. You pull that brick out and another and pretty soon the house falls."

In the meantime, Trump continues to lead the pack of GOP presidential hopefuls after taking Florida in the Republican primaries this past Tuesday, March 15. His liberal counterpart, Hillary Clinton, leads the Democratic nominees. 

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