On Monday, U.S. President Donald Trump defended his recent reference to Apple's CEO as "Tim Apple," claiming he was simply trying to save time.
"At a recent round table meeting of business executives, & long after formally introducing Tim Cook of Apple, I quickly referred to Tim + Apple as Tim/Apple as an easy way to save time & words," Trump wrote on Twitter. "The Fake News was disparagingly all over this, & it became yet another bad Trump story!"
At a recent round table meeting of business executives, & long after formally introducing Tim Cook of Apple, I quickly referred to Tim + Apple as Tim/Apple as an easy way to save time & words. The Fake News was disparagingly all over this, & it became yet another bad Trump story!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 11, 2019
Trump made the slip last Wednesday, sitting next to Cook at a meeting of the American Workforce Policy Advisory Board.
"People like Tim — you're expanding all over and doing things I really wanted you to right from the beginning," Trump said. "I used to say, 'Tim, you've got to start doing it over here,' and you really have. You really put a big investment in our country. We appreciate it very much, Tim Apple."
Trump is known for both deliberately and accidentally changing the names of famous people. He once called Lockheed Martin CEO Marillyn Hewson "Marillyn Lockheed," and has referred to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos as "Jeff Bozo," mainly because his newspaper the Washington Post has regularly covered controversies and wrongdoing at the White House.
Cook and/or his social media team reacted by changing his Twitter handle to "Tim Apple." It's not clear whether this was a jab at Trump or taking the mistake in stride, though it may be the latter since Trump called Cook "a friend" at Wednesday's event, and the CEO has been willing to collaborate even though the two are deeply opposed on topics like climate change, immigration, and LGBT rights. Apple has taken advantage of Trump-era tax cuts to repatriate billions in overseas cash.