FBI Releases Steve Jobs Dossier: Driven & Deceptive

| News

Apple co-founder and former CEO Steve Jobs was in the running for a presidential cabinet appointment under the first President Bush in 1991, and the FBI has released its background investigation file on the man. According to the people the agency interviewed, Mr. Jobs was driven, deceptive, and would be great for the job.

Mr. Jobs was being considered for an appointment to the President’s Export Council, although in the end he was passed over.

FBI releases Steve Jobs investigationFBI releases Steve Jobs investigation

The report includes interesting comments about Mr. Jobs, such as “Several individuals commented concerning past drug use on the part of Mr. Jobs,” and “Several individuals questioned Mr. Jobs’ honesty stating that Mr. Jobs will twist the truth and distort reality in order to achieve his goals.”

Not everyone was happy to have called Mr. Jobs “friend.”

[redacted] advised that he is no longer friends with Mr. Jobs. He feels bitter towards and alienated by Mr. Jobs based upon his association with Mr. Jobs at ACI. He characterized Mr. Jobs as an honest and trustworthy individual; however his moral character is questionable. [Redacted] explained he [redacted] did not receive any stock, which would have made him quite wealthy now.

Mr. Redacted is most likely Daniel Kottke, Apple employee number 12. He helped build and test the original Apple I computer with Steve Wozniak, and was a close friend to Mr. Jobs. The two even traveled to India together on a spiritual quest.

Mr. Jobs also had top secret clearance between August 1988 and July 1990 while he was part of PIXAR. The report doesn’t, however, say why he was granted the clearance level.

Along with comments on Mr. Jobs’s character, the report also noted he was the target of a bomb threat in 1985. The potential attacker demanded a US$1 million, although it appears the threat never went anywhere.

Overall, the report makes Mr. Jobs sound like a charismatic and driven man that could spin facts to his advantage — something that should sound very familiar to anyone that’s ever seen him speak at a conference or media event.

[Thanks to Gawker for the heads up.]

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In the Bush Cabinet?
No f*****g way in h*** he’d have taken that.

Dave Hamilton

In the Bush Cabinet?
No f*****g way in h*** he?d have taken that.

At the great risk of turning this into a political discussion (please, let’s not), I wanted to point out that these documents show that Jobs himself signed and agreed-to this background check explicitly for this purpose. This was done with Jobs knowledge and blessing, and he clearly knew *why* the background check was being done. If he had no interest in joining this particular cabinet, I can’t imagine why he would have gone through all this.

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

This is so rich. It makes me wonder what would have been in the FBI report of Jesus H. Christ himself! Or Joseph Smith’s for that matter. And since we are coming up on Koreshmas (which starts February 28)...


My question is, why would the FBI even release something like this? Seems odd to me. Probably some required public record BS. Pretty sad.


At the great risk of turning this into a political discussion (please, let?s not),


If he had no interest in joining this particular cabinet, I can?t imagine why he would have gone through all this.

Even if he had no interest in working with the administration, if they asked to do a background check it would be bad form (and possibly bad for business) to say no. It’s also possible that he expected to be eliminated from consideration in the check so he wouldn’t have to tell them no directly.


No matter the administration in office, it is an honor to be asked to serve one’s country on a presidential cabinet. I would think Steve would play along through the process and then decide to accept or decline only after the process was complete and an offer was extended. It would not make sense to say no to the FBI for any reason - would obviously raise questions there. So, this was all just a formality for something that never came. No big deal.

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

Point of clarification. He was not being considered for a cabinet level post. You can read about the mission and composition of the President’s Export Council here. They report to the Commerce Secretary.

Lee Dronick

My political beliefs are well known, but never the less I have respect for the first President Bush. Anyway I wonder if Pixar was working on combat simulators used for training.


Brad, we’ve missed your comments here on TMO!! Any insight on iPhone’s market share and share of profit in Q4 2011? Any thoughts on Apple’s stock price and financial results?

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