Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump called on Friday for a boycott of Apple Inc products until the tech company agreed to help the U.S. government unlock the cellphone of one of the killers in last year’s San Bernardino, California, shooting.”Boycott Apple until such time as they give that information,” Trump said at a campaign event in Pawleys Island, South Carolina. “It just occurred to me.”
Reuters told: Trump, front-runner for the Republican nomination to run in the Nov. 8 presidential election, made the off-the-cuff comment at a town hall-style event at a country club, a day before the state’s nominating contest.
Apple is resisting U.S. government demands to help it unlock an iPhone used by Rizwan Farook, who along with his wife, Tashfeen Malik, shot and killed 14 people and wounded 22 others at a holiday party last Dec. 2.
Trump made his comments as the U.S. Department of Justice filed a motion seeking to force Apple to comply with a judge’s order for the company to unlock the phone, portraying the tech company’s refusal as a “marketing strategy.”
The filing increased tension in a showdown between the Obama administration and Silicon Valley over security and privacy. The government has said the couple were sympathizers of Islamic State militants and wanted to open the phone to find out more about possible connections and contacts.
While he was still speaking, Trump’s campaign posted on his Twitter handle (@real Donald Trump) from an iPhone, with the timestamp labeled “via Twitter for iPhone.”
Trump later posted on Twitter that he used both an iPhone and a Samsung.
“If Apple doesn’t give the information to the authorities on the radical Islamic terrorists, I’ll only be using a Samsung – until such time as they give the information,” Trump tweeted.
“Hopefully others will follow suit. Our country needs and should demand security. It is time to get tough and be smart!”
Trump has been a frequent critic of Apple and called on the company to make more products in the United States.
It was not the first time Trump has cried “boycott!” In November, he called for a Starbucks boycott because the coffee company’s red holiday cups lacked Christmas-related decorations.
He has repeatedly urged people not to shop at Macy’s after the department store dropped his signature business clothing line because of comments he made insulting Mexicans.