Tim Apple: Trump’s Weirdest Lie Yet



Trump seems to be unable to own his mistakes — instead, he jumps to defend himself.


Somebody must be putting something in President Trump’s water (or maybe it’s just that the water is from Flint, Michigan), because he has only gotten weirder over time.

He had already outdone all his other oddball moments during his two-hour CPAC speech in early March, in which he proclaimed, “I was lonely! I said, ‘Let’s go to Iraq!’”

Bizarre as that moment was, it was most likely truthful. In fact, it’s hard to imagine that inner monologue happening any other way in Trump’s head.

But Trump’s “Tim Apple” slip-up and cover-up is uncharted nincompoop territory, even for him.

In case you missed it, our president — who claims to have a “very, very large a-brain” that China, as a country, collectively reveres — hosted a group of corporate executives at the White House in mid-March. During this meeting, he introduced Tim Cook, CEO of Apple, Inc., and a number of other business leaders. Later on, he praised Cook for “putting a big investment” in the United States. “We appreciate it very much, Tim Apple,” he continued.

According to Axios, Trump originally claimed to have said “Tim Cook Apple” quickly, breezing over the middle word. But watching the clip of the sentence clearly reveals the falsity of this statement. He did not breeze over “Cook”; he just did not say it.

A day later, Trump tweeted a new explanation: “I quickly referred to Tim + Apple as Tim/Apple as an easy way to save time & words.” Not only does that defense negate his original one, but it is also a clear and unequivocal fabricated excuse for an obvious mistake.

This begs the question: Why on God’s green Earth would anyone want to lie about a simple slip of the tongue like this?

It’s not the first time that Trump and his team have offered explanations for linguistic gaffes that were far more weighty than the gaffes themselves. For instance, in May of 2017, after Trump mistakenly tweeted the word “covfefe” instead of “coverage,” then-Press Secretary Sean Spicer said this at a press conference: “The president and a small group of people know exactly what he meant.”

Why did Spicer need to defend a simple mistake in a tweet as wholly intentional, insinuating that the vast majority of the population just doesn’t get it? Why did Trump need to make up a weird lie about his verbal error?

There are a number of possibilities. One is that he’s a stubborn old man who always needs to be right about everything. Another is that he is a pathological liar. Both of these likely have some truth to them.

But one rationalization stands out among the rest: Trump has been so engulfed by winning and privilege his whole life that he refuses to lose any battle, however small.

Trump grew up the son of an immensely wealthy real estate developer in New York City, a childhood that led him to becoming a millionaire by age 8. He has dodged taxes for himself and his family throughout his life, which has allowed him to lead the lavish lifestyle for which he is famous. And in 2016, he won the election to become president of the United States without a majority of the popular vote, falling short by about 3 million votes. The list of accomplishments (and inheritances and immoral victories) goes on.

He has always gotten what he wanted. He does not want to stop now.

Every small victory for him brings him one step closer to a successful reelection campaign in 2020. His voter base, much like the man himself, is not content with winning only sometimes; Trump only talks about winning, and his supporters rely on that fact in order to keep supporting him. He cannot take the risk of conceding anything if it means four fewer years in the White House than he is expecting.

He’ll do whatever he can to secure control of the presidency, including tell lies to make himself look good or to attempt to vindicate himself after telling other lies. The falsehoods he perpetuated along the campaign trail in 2016 included support for the LGBTQ community, a promise of a border wall for which Mexico would pay and a defense of an unfounded conspiracy theory that claims climate change is a Chinese hoax.

He lied to the American public to win its support. He will do it again in 2020.

If Democrats really want to replace Trump next year, they need to dismantle Trump’s winning culture. They need to prove that Trump has been a failure as a president — so much so that the independents and libertarians who voted for him in 2016 will be convinced to vote for a Democrat. Identifying that Democrat is a whole other process (and editorial) in itself, but that’s why the U.S. has primaries.

That shouldn’t be hard, considering Trump has been nothing short of an utter, dismal failure since he got into office. But Democrats, like no other party in American history, are notoriously good at blowing perfect opportunities.

Let this be a wake-up call: Trump’s “Tim Apple” blunder may seem innocuous enough, but it’s a part of a much larger and more consequential problem with his personality. If Democrats want to evict the Trumps come January 2021, they need to attack Trump’s heart. They must tear down his foolhardy mentality and insert a strong, capable leader who is unafraid to own their mistakes.