- Special counsel Robert Mueller was spotted at a Washington DC-area Apple store.
- He appears to be getting help with a MacBook, in a photograph posted to Instagram.
- There are also what looks like two new iPhones on the table, raising the possibility that he’s buying new gadgets.
- Mueller is famously publicity-shy and he doesn’t talk to the press.
- But he’ll talk to an Apple Genius.
Eventually, everyone needs tech support — even Robert Mueller, the special counsel who is investigating Russian interference in the 2016 US Presidential election.
His project is the talk of Washington DC, partly because of its importance, but also partly because of how mysterious it remains. There are few leaks from his team, and he doesn’t talk to the press.
But he’ll talk to a Genius at an Apple store, it seems.
Meghan Pianta, a communications professional in Washington DC, posted a picture of Mueller at the Georgetown Apple store on Wednesday afternoon on her Instagram Story.
“Give this man ALL the Genius Bar support he needs, pls,” she captioned the shot.
While Pianta said she thought the transaction may have had something to do with a laptop, it’s also possible that Mueller is buying iPhones, given that there are what appear two new smartphones sitting in their boxes near the Apple employee’s elbow.
We first saw the picture via journalist Kelly Cohen.
— Meghan Pianta (@megpianta) September 26, 2018
If Mueller is in fact buying iPhones, it can be read as an endorsement of the security in Apple’s iOS operating system.
Apple iPhones are famous for having strong encryption, such that nobody but the original owner can unscramble the data on the device without the original password.
In 2016, the FBI even tried to compel Apple to write software to circumvent the encryption on a phone used in a terrorist attack. But that kind of encryption is also needed to keep extremely sensitive secrets — like those being unearthed in the Mueller investigation — secure.
Even if he’s not using these iPhones for work, it seems fair to say that he at least has some faith in iOS for his personal life.
And if Mueller is getting help with his laptop, it’s worth noting that it’s extremely unlikely that this is a work machine: Most government agencies don’t issue Apple MacBooks to their employees, and besides, Mueller would know better than to show anything confidential to a civilian.