Apple and Tim. Tim and Apple. They are nearly one in the same – or at least that’s the impression that seems to have befallen President Trump.
During the yesterday’s American Workforce Policy Advisory Board meeting, while closing out a comment about the Cupertino company, the President referred to Apple CEO Tim Cook as “Tim Apple.”
Trump just called Apple CEO Tim Cook “Tim Apple” pic.twitter.com/gTHHtjWvc9
— Sean O’Kane (@sokane1) March 6, 2019
The flub immediately found its way onto the internet, and spawned a wave of people changing their Twitter names to reflect a last name of their job or company.
Cook himself was even coy enough to get in on the fun, changing his display name from “Tim Cook” to “Tim ”. While Cook clearly wasn’t willing to fully embrace his newly bestowed surname, he was willing to utilize the company’s Unicode character to pay homage to the somewhat unsurprising event.
To cover for the accident (if it truly was unintentional), the White House transcript of the meeting shows a subtle but meaningful change to the structure of the sentence. Instead of swapping out Cook’s last name, a strategically deployed em-dash changes the sentence entirely.
People like Tim, you’re expanding all over and doing things that I really wanted you to right from the beginning. I used to say, “Tim, you 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. (emphasis added)
Either way you slice it, it’s hard to really frame the sentence in a way that makes much sense. Was the president thanking Tim and Apple? Was he thanking Apple and misspoke in naming Tim exclusively? Or did he just have a complete brain fart? It’s hard to say for sure, but Trump’s daughter Ivanka clearly thought the moment was humorous, sharing a link to “The Daily Show” tweet on the matter.
— Ivanka Trump (@IvankaTrump) March 7, 2019
Ultimately, the entire goof will likely be forgotten in short order. Trump has often been cited for forgetting or mixing up names, like when he called Marillyn Hewson, Lockheed Martin CEO, “Marillyn Lockheed” last year.
Fortunately for most of us, the event gives us something to chuckle about. It also shows a lighthearted, down-to-earth side of Apple’s CEO. My guess is, Steve Jobs wouldn’t have been so playful.