Trump made the comments on Tuesday after Attorney General William Barr accused Apple of not providing help in an investigation of a deadly shooting by a Saudi Air Force officer at a Florida naval base last month.
"We are helping Apple all of the time on TRADE and so many other issues, and yet they refuse to unlock phones used by killers, drug dealers and other violent criminal elements," Trump said on Twitter. "They will have to step up to the plate and help our great Country, NOW!" he tweeted.
We are helping Apple all of the time on TRADE and so many other issues, and yet they refuse to unlock phones used by killers, drug dealers and other violent criminal elements. They will have to step up to the plate and help our great Country, NOW! MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 14, 2020
The company has said it cannot access data that is encrypted with a passcode and stored on an iPhone, but it can release data stored on its cloud storage servers to law enforcement officials.
Apple did not comment on Trump's remarks but a day earlier said it rejected “the characterization that Apple has not provided substantive assistance” in the investigation into the shooting of three Americans by the gunman at the US Naval Station in Pensacola, Florida, last month.
Barr on Monday called the fatal shooting “an act of terrorism” and urged Apple to help the Federal Bureau of Investigation unlock two iPhones involved in the case.
Barr said the evidence showed the shooter was motivated by extremist ideology.