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Tim Cook sees Apple changing the world

CEO tells CNBC's Jim Cramer that one of the ways Apple can change the world is by standing up to "dysfunctional" governments.

Apple CEO Tim Cook sees it as a responsibility of companies like Apple to stand up to "dysfunctional" governments.


Tim Cook has a desire for Apple to help change the world, including by standing up to what he calls "dysfunctional" governments.

After a Monday appearance on CNBC, in which he focused on Wall Street's reaction to Apple's second-quarter results, the Apple CEO on Tuesday shared more personal thoughts, including companies' ability and responsibility to affect change, especially when it comes to government.

"I don't mean to play a government role, but it's not just government who can change things, all of us are responsible for changing..." Cook said before CNBC's Jim Cramer interrupted his response to steer the discussion toward Apple's legal brouhaha with the FBI over an iPhone used by one of the San Bernardino shooters. Reiterating previous statements on the issue, Cook said the company has always complied with valid court orders but pointed out that the US government asked Apple to create a new product, which the company believed would put millions of iPhone users at risk.

"That was a bridge we thought we shouldn't cross, that was not good for America, so we stood up and said we are not going to do this," Cook said, noting that the government eventually dropped its court case.

"I think that when you are approached like this, you have to stand up for what you believe in," Cook said, adding that "it's a complicated issue, not a sound bite issue."

That desire to affect change extends to how the world uses Apple's products, Cook said.

"We want to change the world through our products," he said. "We produce products that give the people the ability to do things they couldn't do before, and in doing so, we help change things."

Cook said Apple's commitment to change extends beyond the consumer to how the company does business. He said the company tries to conduct itself "in a way that is right and just," saying that it cares about the environment, how its products are made and human rights.

In response to a question about individuals he admires, Cook first reiterated love and respect for Steve Jobs before turning the focus on human rights leaders.

"I also deeply admire people who fought for human rights and were pushing humanity forward," he said. "People who I think of when I say that are Bobby Kennedy and Dr. King. These people ultimately risked everything, including their lives, to push people forward so that everyone could be included."

"They were all about inclusiveness. I'm a great believer in inclusiveness."

Part two of the interview: