Private Texts Reveal FBI Agents’ Dislike for Tim Cook, Calling Him a ‘Hypocrite’ During the San Bernardino iPhone Unlock Fiasco


Tim Cook

Following the San Bernardino shootings a couple of years ago, Apple was under a great deal of pressure from the FBI to unlock the shooter’s iPhone 5c. While Apple declined, and the FBI subsequently managed to unlock the device using “professional hackers”, a new report reveals that not everything was rosy within the FBI.

Text message exchanges between Peter Strzok, an FBI counterintelligence agent, and Lisa Page, an FBI lawyer, reveal the nature of discourse within the agency pertaining to Apple CEO Tim Cook. These text messages were revealed by the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs and contain several pages of text messages between FBI agents.

FBI Messages - Tim Cook

The text messages reveal seemingly normal conversations between Strzok and Page, but what got the media’s attention is the mention of Tim Cook. Strzok said “And what makes me really angry about that Apple thing? The fact that Tim Cook plays such the privacy advocate.”

Another conversation held several months later also reveals the agency’s dislike for the Apple CEO.

Strzok: “NYTimes breaking. You saw the byline right?”

Page: “It helps that the Director and Deputy really hate these phones too. And really love their personal iPhones.”

Strzok: “Now if Tim Cook would fall off the face of the earth.”

Tim Cook - FBI Messages

About a month after this, the two were in conversation again, this time talking about Tim Cook making Hillary Clinton’s potential list of running mates for the 2016 elections. Cook even held a fundraiser for Clinton before the elections, which gave rise to speculations. A leaked list shortly confirmed this, but nothing came of it eventually.

It is important to note that both agents mentioned here were in no capacity involved with FBI’s investigation of the San Bernardino shootings. They were merely communicating on a personal level as friends and fellow agents. The two started talking when the FBI director at the time James Comey mentioned that the agency was unable to unlock the shooter’s iPhone 5c.

[Via Business Insider]