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Richard Drew / AP

In another sign of corporations' rising voice amid frustration with President Trump, Apple CEO Tim Cook tells the N.Y. Times' Andrew Ross Sorkin: "I think we have a moral responsibility to help grow the economy, to help grow jobs, to contribute to this country and to contribute to the other countries that we do business in."

Why it matters:

Tim Cook, an Alabama native who came up through the industry's operations and engineering side, has kept a mostly low profile during his six years as CEO. That makes these comments quite telling, both about his rising comfort in the spotlight, and his embrace of a more public face for the world's most profitable company.

  • Sorkin ate breakfast with Cook in Austin during the CEO's "mini-tour across the country during which he focused on topics usually reserved for politicians: manufacturing, jobs and education."
  • Sorkin writes in his "DealBook" column: "Watching Mr. Cook over the years, I've been fascinated to see how he has become as animated when talking about big issues like education and climate change as he is when talking about Apple. ... Cook is most passionate when he talks about education."
  • Key fact: "Over the past several years, Mr. Cook has gotten all of the company's corporate facilities in the United States to run on wind and solar energy — in their entirety."
  • Sorkin's kicker hints at a political role for Cook: "Is his focus on jobs and speeches in front of American flags a hint at something bigger? After all, Mark Zuckerberg's name is now regularly bandied about in discussions of potential presidential candidates. 'I have a full-time job,' Mr. Cook said. 'I appreciate the compliment ... if it is a compliment."

Go deeper

5 hours ago - World

Biden seeks to reboot U.S. sanctions policy

Sanctions increased under Obama and dramatically under Trump. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call

The Biden administration is rethinking the U.S. approach to sanctions after four years of Donald Trump imposing and escalating them.

The big picture: Sanctions are among the most powerful tools the U.S. has to influence its adversaries’ behavior without using force. But they frequently fail to bring down regimes or moderate their behavior, and they can increase the suffering of civilians and resentment of the U.S.

5 hours ago - World

Merkel's farewell spoiled by Poland crisis at EU summit

One last awkward EU "family photo." Photo: John Thys/AFP via Getty Images

Angela Merkel took up her vaunted mantle as Europe's crisis manager for what could be the last time tonight, as she urged the EU to find compromise in its showdown with Poland.

Why it matters: The European Commission has threatened to withhold over $40 billion in pandemic recovery funds after Poland's constitutional tribunal — stacked with loyalists from the ruling right-wing populist party — rejected the principle that EU law has primacy over national law.

Republicans who put it all on the line

Rep. Nancy Mace speaks with reporters after voting to hold Steve Bannon in contempt of Congress. Photo: Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

A small contingent of House Republicans risked their political futures on Thursday, they say, in the name of constitutional responsibility.

Why it matters: The nine Republicans who voted to hold former Trump aide Steve Bannon in contempt of Congress are now in peril of becoming political pariahs. They've opened themselves up to potential primary challengers and public attacks from their party's kingmaker — former President Trump.

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