Trump calls for Apple boycott

Presidential candidate Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpDACA recipient claims Trump is holding ‘immigrant youth hostage’ amid quest for wall Lady Gaga blasts Pence as ‘worst representation of what it means to be Christian’ We have a long history of disrespecting Native Americans and denying their humanity MORE is calling on his supporters to boycott Apple until it agrees to help the FBI unlock an iPhone used by one of the San Bernardino shooters.  

“What I think you ought to do is boycott Apple until such time they give that security number,” Trump said at a rally in South Carolina on Friday.

“I just thought of it,” the GOP frontrunner added. “Boycott Apple.”

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Apple this week defied a court order to assist authorities in bypassing security features on a phone belonging to one of the attackers in the San Bernardino, Calif., assault that left 14 people dead.  

The company argued such assistance would amount to creating a “back door” into all iPhones that could be exploited by hackers and foreign spies.

But Republicans have lashed out at the company, calling the move a marketing ploy.

“Tim Cook is looking to do a big number, probably to show how liberal he is,” Trump said.

Trump initially came out against Apple’s decision only hours after the company revealed its stance.

“Who do they think they are?” the real estate mogul said.

Trump immediately took heat for the comments after many people noted past tweets from his account had been sent from an iPhone.

The Trump campaign also previously spent a nominal $108 at the Apple Store in New York.

Other Republican presidential candidates have come out against Apple's decision this week, but in a more tempered manner.

Ohio Gov. John Kasich told the Associated Press, “I don't think it's an example of government overreach to say that, you know, we had terrorists here on our soil and we've got to understand more detail about who they may have been communicating with.”

At a Wednesday night town hall, Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzGroup aiming to draft Beto O’Rourke unveils first 2020 video Howard Dean looking for a 'younger, newer' Democratic nominee in 2020 Congress can stop the war on science MORE (R-Texas) insisted Apple had a serious argument and called the debate a “tough issue,” before ultimately siding with the FBI.

Sen. Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioWashington fears new threat from 'deepfake' videos Overnight Defense: Second Trump-Kim summit planned for next month | Pelosi accuses Trump of leaking Afghanistan trip plans | Pentagon warns of climate threat to bases | Trump faces pressure to reconsider Syria exit Pressure mounts for Trump to reconsider Syria withdrawal MORE said he understood the security concerns behind Apple’s argument, but hasn't taken a firm stance.

“I don't have a magic solution for it today,” he told CNN. “It's complicated.”

This story was updated at 4:11 p.m.