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Politics

Trump puts tech's Senate foe in peril

Opening sequence

Opening sequence

Politics

Trump puts tech's Senate foe in peril

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COMING UP:Trump puts tech's Senate foe in peril

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Transcript

00:00:00
>> President. What do you have to lose?>> Donald Trump's misadventures on the 2016 trail may deliver an unexpected payoff this November for tech titans in Silicon Valley. One of their fiercest foes in battles over digital security, Republican Senator, Richard Burr, of North Carolina, caught in the gravity of Trump's sinking poll numbers.
00:00:22
Like many GOP candidates, his reelection now in doubt. Reuters correspondent Dustin Volz.>> Senator Burr has been perhaps the most vocal critique of Apple and other Silicon Valley tech companies. Burr is very important in the Senate as Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee. He wields enormous influence over national security policy and has spent the better part of the past year feuding with Silicon Valley tech companies over issues involving encryption and law enforcement access to encrypted devices.
00:00:50
>> After Apple refused to unlock the iPhone of the San Bernardino shooter last year, Burr proposed forcing tech giants to give law enforcement a way around built-in security features. Silicon Valley not buying it, saying ironclad encryption was the only way to ward off hackers and secure the web.
00:01:09
>> Silicon Valley companies are eager to see him be dethroned, to be kicked out of the Senate. Because they are fearful that he'll continue to push legislation in Congress that would force them to create weaknesses in their products, to allow law enforcement to gain access for their investigations.
00:01:24
>> Some tech headliners such as the widow of Apple founder, Steve Jobs, Laurene Powell, supporting Burr's opponent Democrat Deborah Ross. But Volz says Burr could still be considered safe if not for Trump.>> Experts I talked to, political consultants on the ground in North Carolina said that this is almost entirely due to Donald Trump's sagging poll numbers, that Trump is really bringing down a number of Republican incumbents in the Senate.
00:01:48
Burr was seen as really untouchable in many ways.>> Silicon Valley all but shunning Trump in the 2016 race. Apple's Tim Cook on Wednesday, celebrating five years as CEO by holding a fundraiser for Trump's rival, Hillary Clinton.>> We all have a lot at stake.