They are committed to the position that Apple transferring/booking cash profits to Ireland is not tax avoidance. Of course it would cost AAPL a lot to 'repatriate' those $$. They would have to pay US taxes!!! haha. This is going to get big.
If Apple has to pay those taxes, so will Microsoft, Pfizer and countless other companies. Apple has the cash to do so. The other companies don't. That is why CNBC is trying to back pedal. Not for Apple's sake but the other companies', including Samsung.