Rudy Giuliani Had to Ask an Apple Genius to Unlock His iPhone Right After Trump Named Him Head of the Cyber

Photo: Getty

With the growing number of bumbling mistakes that Rudy Giuliani makes as Donald Trump’s attorney, it’s easy to forget that in early 2017 the President enlisted the maladroit fraudgoblin to be the White House cybersecurity czar.

Precisely 26 days after Giuliani was tapped to advise Trump on the cyber, the former mayor went to a San Francisco Apple store and asked an employee to help him unlock his iPhone 6, according to a report from NBC News. Giuliani had reportedly locked himself out of his phone because he had entered his passcode wrong 10 times, disabling the device.

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NBC News reviewed a photo of an Apple store internal memo for a customer named Rudolph Giuliani with a number attached to his firm, Giuliani Partners. The news outlet also spoke two a former Apple store employee who was present and another source familiar with the incident.

Apple staff reportedly erased Giuliani’s phone and set it up as new from an iCloud backup, according to the memo seen by NBC News. That would mean that the president’s lawyer’s phone data is stored on Apple’s iCloud, or at least was at the same time that he was the nation’s top Cyber Guy.

“Very sloppy,” the former employee told NBC News. “Trump had just named him as an informal adviser on cybersecurity and here, he couldn’t even master the fundamentals of securing your own device.”

Former FBI supervisory special agent Michael Anaya agreed with the former staffer. “That’s crazy,” Anaya told NBC News. “It’s unnerving to think that this individual has access to the most powerful person in the world and that sensitive communications could be disclosed to people who should not have access to them.”

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Gizmodo sent messages to Giuliani’s Twitter account and to his security firm Giuliani Security & Safety, but both messages seeking comment went unanswered. Apple did not respond to a request for comment.

Giuliani doesn’t seem to have adopted better security practices since that Apple visit. Just last week NBC News reported that the cybersecurity advisor had butt-dialed one of its reporters twice, leaving voicemails in which he discussed needing money, Joe and Hunter Biden, and Bahrain business dealings.

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Jennings Brown

Senior editor and reporter at Gizmodo