Donald Trump has said he just meant to “save time and words” when he referred to Apple boss Tim Cook by the wrong name.
The president was widely mocked last week when he referred to the CEO as “Tim Apple” during a meeting at the White House.
“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,” he wrote, five days after the event. “The Fake News was disparagingly all over this, & it became yet another bad Trump story!”
Mr. Trump’s Twitter post came after Axios reported that Mr. Trump had actually said “Tim Cook, Apple” very quickly and that the “Cook” part of the sentence had been quiet.
Mr. Trump made the mistake during a White House meeting in which Mr. Cook spoke about the importance of teaching children to code.
As he responded to Mr. Cook, who was sat in front of a card bearing his name, Mr. Trump said: “We have so many companies coming in. People like Tim, you’re expanding all over and doing things that I really wanted you to the right from the beginning.
“I used to say, ‘Tim, you’ve got to start doing it over here,’ and you really have. I mean, you’ve really put a big investment in our country. We appreciate it very much, Tim Apple.”
Mr. Trump’s tweet reflects the White House’s presentation of the moment, if not the one seen in the video. In the official transcript of the meeting, the words “Tim” and “Apple” are separated by a dash, as if the president had paused.
Even Mr. Cook – who in the meeting nodded to Mr. Trump and did not comment on the mistake – later appeared to mock the moment, changing his name on Twitter to reflect the moniker. His name on the site is now “Tim” followed by an apple icon.
That small icon only shows on Apple devices, appearing as an X or a square on Windows computers and Android phones. Mr. Trump is thought to tweet from an iPhone, however, which would show the image.
The “Tim Apple” moment was not the first time that Mr. Trump has called someone by the name of their company. In 2018, he referred to Lockheed Martin CEO Marillyn Hewson as “Marillyn Lockheed”.