Tim Cook is a pretty well-known figure in the business world. I know a lot of people don’t care about computers and that’s fine, but if you’re in the industry or having some sort of professional interaction with him, I have to think people usually know his name going in.
And yet, at an American Workforce Policy Advisory Board meeting today, the president pretty unmistakably called Tim Cook “Tim Apple.”
At first I thought I was just hearing things? Then I thought it might have been part of a trailing sentence like “Thank you Tim... Apple is doing great.” But no, he stops pretty abruptly after saying Apple, and it really sounds like he thinks that’s the last name.
I went through the trouble of transcribing what the president said, just to be sure this is all really happening:
We’re going to be opening up the labor forces because we have to. We have so many companies coming in,” Trump says. “People like Tim — you’re expanding all over and doing things that I really wanted you to do right from the beginning. I used to say, ‘Tim, you gotta start doing it here,’ and you really have you’ve really put a big investment in our country. We appreciate it very much, Tim Apple.
Here’s the clip:
Trump has a long history of flubbing people’s names, usually swapping out the first name for something more alliterative. He’s even messed up the names of executives before, like calling Marillyn Hewson, Lockheed Martin CEO, Marillyn Lockheed:
It’s hard to say why this happened. Did he forget Cook’s name? Does he only associate people with the companies that they run? Was it on purpose, as some kind of psychological domination game? Literally anything seems possible at this point.