“I think it’s key that people be held accountable for it," Cook, 60, said in an interview with CBS' Gayle King. "This is not something that should skate. This is something we’ve got to be very serious about, and understand, and then we need to move forward.”
In a follow-up question, King asked the tech exec whether President Trump should be accountable for the violence, to which Cook replied, "no one is above the law."
"That’s the great thing about our country, we’re a rule of law country," Cook added. "I think everyone who had a part in it needs to be held accountable. I don’t think we should let it go. I think holding people accountable is important.”
The comments were part of a broader interview where King teased Apple is making a "big announcement," though one that is not a new product.
Apple declined to comment.
This is not the first time Cook has sounded off on the riots of last week, which resulted in the deaths of several people and caused outrage across the nation.
Following the riots, Cook took to Twitter to note the event was a "sad and shameful chapter" in the history of the U.S.
"Today marks a sad and shameful chapter in our nation’s history," Cook wrote. "Those responsible for this insurrection should be held to account, and we must complete the transition to President-elect Biden’s administration. It’s especially when they are challenged that our ideals matter most."
Apple recently removed the Parler app from its App Store, citing the company's inability to take "adequate measures to address the proliferation of these threats [of violence] to people’s safety."
Since Trump became president in 2016, the two men have had a long-standing working relationship, with Trump even referring to Cook as a "friend."
Cook is one of the few CEOs in America with a direct line to Trump, according to an October 2019 report in The Wall Street Journal. Though the two have been at odds over certain issues, such as climate change and immigration reform, they have worked closely on several other issues, including American manufacturing, 5G, tax reform and trade.