Trump slams Apple for refusing to unlock San Bernardino phone

GOP presidential front-runner Donald TrumpDonald TrumpJohnson faces tough crowd at Libertarian debate Sanders: Primary isn't 'rigged,' just 'dumb' Trump University judge to unseal documents MORE is insisting that Apple unlock the iPhone of one of the shooters in the San Bernardino, Calif., terrorist attack.

"To think that Apple won't allow us to get into her cellphone," Trump said on "Fox and Friends" Wednesday morning. “Who do they think they are? No, we have to open it up."

The FBI has been unable to access the device, which is locked and encrypted to prevent access by anyone other than the owner.

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Apple CEO Tim Cook revealed early Wednesday morning that the company is refusing to comply with a federal court order, issued the day before, demanding that the tech giant provide “reasonable technical assistance” to open the phone.

Trump argued vehemently that Apple should help investigators crack the encryption.

"Apple, this is one case, this is a case that certainly we should be able to get into the phone," he said. "And we should find out what happened, why it happened, and maybe there's other people involved and we have to do that."

The shooters, he said, "killed 14 people, other people laying desperately ill in the hospital from what they did. These are two people radicalized who were given a wedding party by the people they killed! There's something going on. We have to be very careful, we have to be very vigilant."

Specifically, the order tells Apple to bypass or disable a feature that erases all of the data on the phone after too many failed password attempts.

Citing privacy and security concerns, Apple has long resisted efforts by federal prosecutors to compel it to break its own end-to-end encryption.

In some cases, the company has argued that it is technologically unable to access users’ communications. Last fall, Apple rejected a court order to turn over communications sent using its iMessage feature, citing the stiff encryption on newer models.

In an open letter published Wednesday morning, Cook said the company was “shocked and outraged” by the attacks but that “the U.S. government has asked us for something we simply do not have, and something we consider too dangerous to create.”

“They have asked us to build a backdoor to the iPhone,” Cook wrote.

Cook has repeatedly argued that building any guaranteed access for law enforcement into devices — what has been short-handed as a “back door” — would undermine the overall security of the device.

“There have been people that suggest that we should have a back door. But the reality is if you put a back door in, that back door's for everybody, for good guys and bad guys,” Cook said in a December interview with “60 Minutes.”

Trump disagreed stridently on Wednesday, calling it a matter of “common sense.”

"I agree 100 percent with the courts," the business mogul said. "In that case, we should open it up. I think security over all — we have to open it up, and we have to use our heads. We have to use common sense."