Donald Trump
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks to the media at Hampshire Hills Athletic Club on 2 February 2016 in Milford, New HampshireGetty Images

Republican front runner for the US presidential elections Donald Trump, has slammed iPhone maker Apple for refusing to help the FBI decrypt an iPhone 5C used by Syed Farook, one of the shooters in the San Bernardino terrorist attack in California. In a rare agreement with the Obama administration, the Republican candidate called the tech giant "disgraceful" for rejecting a court order to help recover crucial data from the phone that could lead to vital clues.

"To think that Apple won't allow us to get into her cellphone? Who do they think they are? No, we have to open it," Trump said during an interview on Fox & Friends.

Trump was referring to Apple CEO Tim Cook's disinclination to abide by the court order calling on Apple to disable certain security measures on the phone used by Farook. Cook had said such means of decrypting the device would give access to a "back door" to Apple's operating system and put the personal data of millions of customers at risk.

"Up to this point, we have done everything that is both within our power and within the law to help them. But now the US government has asked us for something we simply do not have, and something we consider too dangerous to create. They have asked us to build a backdoor to the iPhone," said Cook post the order.

The FBI has, however, argued that security concerns are far more important than privacy concerns and that it had the consent of the Riverside County Health Department, the actual owner of the phone. Crucial data on that phone could help the agency find out if Farook and his wife Tashfeen Malik acted independently or on the orders of militant jihadist group Islamic State (Isis) in the attack that killed 14 people and left 22 others injured.

As for Trump, this is not the first time he has attacked Apple. In a speech at Liberty University in Virginia in January he took a dig at the company's strategy of manufacturing at foreign locations and said, "We're going to get Apple to start building their damn computers and things in this country instead of in other countries."