Apple CEO Tim Cook Talks Russian Election Interference, Fake News and Tax Reform in Nightly News Interview

Apple CEO Tim Cook sat down with NBC's Lester Holt on tonight's NBC Nightly News broadcast, where he spoke about Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, the need for tax reform in the United States, and more.

As was shared in a clip of the interview earlier today, Cook commented on Russia's use of social media to interfere with the 2016 election and the congressional hearings executives from Facebook, Twitter, and Google have been attending to discuss the role Russia might have played. Cook said he believes the social networks in question have been learning "along the way a lot" and that fake news is a major issue.

lesterholttimcookinterview

I think they learned along the way a lot. And you know, it's best to ask them if they should have projected it or not. I don't believe that the big issue are ads from foreign government. I believe that's like .1 percent of the issue.

The bigger issue is that some of these tools are used to divide people, to manipulate people, to get fake news to people in broad numbers, and so, to influence their thinking. And this, to me, is the No. 1 through 10 issue.

Cook went on to say that we'll likely learn a lot more in the hearings in regard to the particulars of what went on, and he said companies have a responsibility to make sure technology is "good." "I do think that technology itself doesn't want to be good," he said. "It doesn't want to be anything. It's up to the creator of the technology and the user of the technology to make it good."

Cook also spoke on tax reform. Corporate tax rates, he says, "should have been fixed years ago." "Let's get it done now," he added.

I believe that tax reform is sorely needed in this country. We don't focus on the individual side, but for corporations, we think we have a pretty deep perspective on this. The biggest issue with corporations in this country is that if you earn money outside of the United States, which most companies increasingly will, the only way that you can bring it into the US and invest is if you pay 40 percent. And this is kind of a crazy thing to do. So what do people do? They don't bring it to the United States.

During the interview, which took place on Apple's campus, Cook showed Holt an iPhone X and explained Face ID features and security, topics Apple has covered multiple times in past executive interviews and through a detailed Face ID support document.

All Face ID data is stored on device, not on Apple's servers, Cook reiterated. "We don't have it intentionally because it's yours," he said. As he has done many times in the past, Cook also highlighted Apple's focus on privacy and said that if he had to re-do the legal controversy with the FBI over San Bernardino, he'd "make the same decision today."

On the topic of selling user data, Cook said that's not something Apple does.

It's something that we don't do because you are not our product. We take a very pro-privacy view. Apple doesn't know what the content of your messages are. We encrypt FaceTime end-to-end. We don't know what you're saying. And we think that's the way people would expect.

A final topic of discussion covered the evolution of the iPhone over the course of the last 10 years and whether it's reached where Steve Jobs had envisioned it would go.

"You know, we knew from the launch it was going to change the world. But frankly, it's gone far beyond what we would have dreamed," Cook said.

NBC Nightly News hasn't yet shared the full video of Cook's interview, but it should be available soon on the NBC website and will include his full commentary on a range of issues.

Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.

Top Rated Comments

chriscrk Avatar
45 months ago
Tim Cook is great, and using their platform for good is really important. A company is made up of people and affects millions worldwide (in Apple's case), so I don't know why it surprises people that their CEO does more than just focus on products. It's important they stick up for their values and help improve things.

Tim Cook will be remembered for that! Very admirable man.
Score: 34 Votes (Like | Disagree)
calzon65 Avatar
45 months ago
He should stop running his mouth about Russian Election Interference, Fake News, and Tax Reform. What he needs to do is get his butt back into his office and focus on issues that directly effect Apple customers like the software problems that were just uncovered from Security Researchers that used Wi-Fi and Safari Exploits to Breach iPhone 7 at the Annual Mobile Pwn2Own Contest.
Score: 24 Votes (Like | Disagree)
BaltimoreMediaBlog Avatar
45 months ago
It's important that he's using this platform to get what Apple wants, not necessarily what you want.

And also NBC via MSNBC is the biggest purveyor of FAKE NEWS out there, followed closely by CNN.
Some of their TV hosts actually think the President will be impeached like in just a month!
They say it on the air every day like there's a chance it will happen like tomorrow, but it won't anytime soon if EVER!
Score: 24 Votes (Like | Disagree)
rjohnstone Avatar
45 months ago
He is right about the corporate tax rate. Hopefully the GOP doesn’t screw this up.
It's not the GOP you have to worry about.
The Dems are playing to their base by demonizing any corporate tax cuts.
Score: 22 Votes (Like | Disagree)
TheBuffather Avatar
45 months ago
“All Face ID data is stored on device, not on Apple's servers, Cook reiterated.”

It amazes me Apple still has to keep repeating this. Or that people still think Apple is sending your fingerprints or face to their servers.
Well, when you learn about a little thing called Operation Northwoods, you question everything. Including where the government has their hands and who they control.
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
JosephAW Avatar
45 months ago
Wow, not only is he a great CEO and good at creating dongle dependent devices but he's a political Russian expert.
Hey Mr. Cook, You better watch that Pwn2Own video and get your priorities straight. Thank you.
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

april 2021 event coverage feature

Apple Event Live Coverage: New iPads, AirTags, and More Expected [Event Over]

Tuesday April 20, 2021 9:07 am PDT by
Apple's virtual "Spring Loaded" event kicks off today at 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time, with Apple expected to debut updated iPad models and perhaps some other hardware such as AirTags or iMac models based on Apple silicon. Apple is providing a live video stream on its website, on YouTube, and in the company's TV app across its platforms. We will also be updating this article with live blog...
m1 imac colors

Apple Announces Redesigned iMac With M1 Chip and Seven Color Options

Tuesday April 20, 2021 10:22 am PDT by
Apple has announced a new, redesigned 24-inch iMac, featuring an M1 chip, a 4.5K display, and a range of color options, as well as an improved cooling system, front-facing camera, speaker system, microphones, power connector, and peripherals. The new iMac features a completely new compact design, and comes in a range of seven striking colors, including green, yellow, orange, pink, purple,...
Ports 2021 MacBook Pro Mockup Feature 1 copy

Stolen MacBook Pro Schematics Confirm Apple's Plans to Add More Ports and Remove Touch Bar

Wednesday April 21, 2021 10:31 am PDT by
Schematics stolen from Apple supplier Quanta Computer outline Apple's plans for the next-generation MacBook Pro models that are expected in 2021, and clearly confirm plans for additional ports and a return to MagSafe. MacRumors saw the schematics after they were leaked online, and some of them feature the logic board of the next-generation MacBook Pro. On the right side of the machine,...
iphone 12 preorder purple

Apple Launching iPhone 12 and 12 Mini in New Purple Color on April 30

Tuesday April 20, 2021 10:08 am PDT by
Apple today announced that the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 mini will be available in a new purple color starting April 30, with pre-orders starting this Friday. Apple is also releasing a new MagSafe Leather Case and Leather Sleeve in Deep Violet, a Silicone Case in Capri Blue, Pistachio, Cantaloupe, or Amethyst, and a Leather Wallet in Arizona, all available to order beginning today. iPhone...
13 inch macbook pro m1

14-Inch and 16-Inch MacBook Pro Models With XDR Displays Expected to Launch Later This Year

Wednesday April 21, 2021 7:08 am PDT by
Apple yesterday unveiled a new 12.9-inch iPad Pro with a Liquid Retina XDR display that uses mini-LED backlighting to achieve up to 1,000 nits of full-screen brightness and up to 1,600 nits of peak brightness. With over 10,000 mini‑LEDs grouped into more than 2,500 local dimming zones, the display also has an impressive 1,000,000:1 contrast ratio. Apple has so far branded its mini-LED...
14

Apple Says iOS 14.5 Will Be Released 'Next Week'

Tuesday April 20, 2021 11:08 am PDT by
Apple today in a press release about its new AirTag item tracker announced that iOS 14.5 and iPadOS 14.5 will be available starting "next week." iOS 14.5 and iPadOS 14.5 are packed with new features, including the ability for iPhone users who are wearing an Apple Watch to unlock the iPhone with Face ID while wearing a mask. iOS 14.5 and iPadOS 14.5 will also be the minimum software versions...
ipad pro with m1 chip

Apple Introduces Next-Generation iPad Pro With M1 Chip, Thunderbolt, 5G, XDR Display, and More

Tuesday April 20, 2021 10:40 am PDT by
Apple today announced the next-generation iPad Pro with the same M1 chip found in the latest Macs, Thunderbolt and USB4 support, 5G connectivity on cellular models with mmWave support in the United States, and more. With an 8-core CPU and 8-core GPU, Apple says the M1 chip in the new iPad Pro provides up to 50% faster performance and up to 40% faster graphics compared to the A12Z Bionic chip ...
f1618938547

Apple Announces AirTag Tracking Devices Starting At $29 Each

Tuesday April 20, 2021 10:10 am PDT by
Apple today announced AirTag, a Tile-like Bluetooth tracking device that's designed to be attached to items like keys and wallets for tracking purposes, letting you find them right in the Find My app. AirTags are accessories for attaching to backpacks, luggage, and other items. Any U1 device like the iPhone 12 can be used for precision finding to guide you right to the item you're looking...
airtag engraving 69

Apple Tries to Limit Offensive AirTag Engravings... With Mixed Results

Wednesday April 21, 2021 3:16 am PDT by
Apple's AirTag item trackers can be custom-engraved using text, numbers, and even emoji, but users looking to express some college humor will likely need to look elsewhere, because Apple's online AirTag personalization tool is easily offended. An AirTag is just big enough to fit up to four characters or up to three emoji. That might seem just enough to get dubiously creative with your...
maxresdefault

Apple Event 2021: Everything Apple Announced at Its 'Spring Loaded' Event in Just 6 Minutes

Tuesday April 20, 2021 4:23 pm PDT by
Apple today held its first event of 2021, and it was one of the most exciting events that we've seen in some time. Apple announced a whole slew of new products, including an M1 iMac, an M1 iPad Pro, a refreshed 4K Apple TV, and the long-awaited AirTags. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. It took Apple an hour to introduce all of the new devices during its virtual...