The word from everyone willing to go on record about the Bloomberg spy chip story is that it didn’t happen. Now, we can add Apple CEO, Tim Cook to the list. In a call with BuzzFeed News, Tim Cook left little doubt.
“There is no truth in their story about Apple. They need to do that right thing and retract it.”
People trying to give Bloomberg the benefit of the doubt have looked for opportunities to parse the denials from the companies on record. They have been given little to work with. In a statement made earlier this month, Apple spokespeople made it clear that they were not under any type of government gag order.
When asked if such a thing could have happened without his knowing, Tim Cook made the most emphatic statement that could reasonably be made. “The likelihood of that is virtually zero.”
Cook also insisted that he was not hands-off with regard to these allegations. He was there from the beginning looking into the matter, and extremely thorough.
“We turned the company upside down. Email searches, data center records, financial records, shipment records. We really forensically whipped through the company to dig very deep and each time we came back to the same conclusion: This did not happen. There’s no truth to this.”
Tim Cook was not content to sit on the sidelines. He personally talked to the Bloomberg reporters along with his general counsel. He answered all of their questions unambiguously. Cook claims that each time he spoke with Bloomberg, the story changed. And Bloomberg never provided any specifics. Nonetheless, Apple continued investigating and continued coming up empty.
There hardly seems to be any more denials left for Apple to make. Amazon seems to be content with its single statement made soon after the story broke. The only two companies named are also alone in the trillion dollar market cap club and have denied the story in a way that leaves themselves no wiggle room.
None of the other 28 companies have been identified, nor have any of them spoken out in corroboration of Bloomberg‘s account. Yesterday, U.S. National Intelligence Director, Dan Coats, added his voice to the chorus of officials denying any knowledge of the matter and finding no reason to believe the story.
The one named source for the story expressed extreme doubts about the story’s validity. To spare their credibility, Bloomberg needs to produce evidence or a retraction. Tim Cook has made it abundantly clear what he thinks about Bloomberg‘s only path forward.