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Apple CEO Tim Cook. Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images.

Apple CEO Tim Cook denied allegations that the company fell victim to a hardware-based attack carried out by the Chinese government, and called on the publication, Bloomberg, to retract the story, according to an interview with BuzzFeed News.

Why it matters: This is the first time Apple has called for a retraction of a news article based on the contents written about the company. Buzzfeed also details the Apple CEO's frustration with the publication, as Cook claims Bloomberg has ignored their accounts.

“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.”
— Apple CEO Tim Cook to Buzzfeed News

Since Bloomberg's piece:

  • Apple has sent a comment to Bloomberg to be included in the published piece claiming the story is inaccurate, that Apple has never found malicious chips and has not had any contact with the FBI regarding the subject matter.
  • The tech company wrote an adamant and detailed company statement after the piece was published explaining each statement Apple claims as false.
  • Apple sent a letter to U.S. Congress signed by its vice president of information security, George Stathakopoulos, that said the company is "eager" to share its side of the story, and if the story was true, "it would rightly raise grave concerns."

Go deeper:

Go deeper

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
22 mins ago - Economy & Business

Trump blocks banks from limiting loans to gun and oil companies

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Big banks are no longer allowed to reject business loan applicants because of the industry in which they operate, according to a new rule finalized on Thursday by the Trump administration.

Why it matters: Wall Street has curtailed its exposure to industries like guns, oil and private prisons, driven by both public and shareholder pressures. This new rule could reverse that trend.

Former FDA commissioner: "Reliable drug supply is absolutely critical"

Axios' Caitlin Owens and former FDA commissioner Mark McClellan. Photo courtesy of Axios Events

Having a reliable supply of pharmaceutical drugs throughout America will be "absolutely critical" to boosting affordability in health care during the Biden administration, former Food and Drug Administration (FDA) commissioner Mark McClellan said at a virtual Axios Event on Friday.

The big picture: McClellan, who served under President George W. Bush, says drugs having limited supply and limited competition leads to elevated pricing. He considers drug supply to be a national security and public health issue.

Felix Salmon, author of Capital
3 hours ago - Economy & Business

Americans are still spending money

Source: Census Bureau; Chart: Axios Visuals

Americans spent more money at stores and restaurants in 2020 than they did in 2019 — even in the face of a devastating global pandemic that shut down broad sectors of the economy.

Why it matters: The monthly retail sales report this morning came in well below expectations, and showed consumer spending falling on a seasonally-adjusted basis. Total expenditures were still higher in December 2020 than they were a year previously, however.