Donald Trump says ‘fake news’ pushed story that he called Apple CEO Tim Cook ‘Tim Apple’

March 11, 2019 GMT

President Trump said Monday he had formally introduced Apple CEO Tim Cook at a White House event last week and then later shortened his name to Tim Apple to save time and words, blaming “Fake News” for turning it into “yet another bad Trump story.”

The president on Wednesday reportedly said to the Apple executive at the American Workforce Policy Advisory Board’s first meeting: “I mean you’ve really put a big investment in our country. We appreciate it very much, Tim Apple.”

The reported mistake went mostly ignored in the room but went viral over the internet. Mr. Cook even changed his last name on Twitter to the Apple logo, likely buying into the joke.

However, Mr. Trump pushed back in a Monday tweet, saying, “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 said. “The Fake News was disparagingly all over this, it became yet another bad Trump story!”

The official White House transcript shows the president said “Tim Apple” but included a dash in between the words, possibly indicating they were two separate things.

Mr. Trump gave a different reasoning for the alleged mix-up during a speech at his Mar-a-Lago club in Florida, according to Axios.

Donors said Mr. Trump reasoned that he actually said “Tim Cook Apple” really fast and the “Cook” portion was softer and got lost.

“I just thought, why would you lie about that,” one of the donors said. “It doesn’t even matter!”