Donald Trump hosted the inaugural meeting of the American Workforce Policy Advisory Board today, a presidential advisory committee that seeks to bring more Americans into the workforce. The board features private sector and non-profit representatives, including Tim Cook, CEO of Apple.
After a fawning introduction from his daughter/advisor Ivanka (who Trump called “honey”), President Trump welcomed board members, including Apple CEO Tim Cook. Unfortunately, later in the meeting, Trump appeared to refer to Tim Cook—a “friend”—as “Tim Apple.”
Trump just called Apple CEO Tim Cook “Tim Apple” pic.twitter.com/gTHHtjWvc9
— Sean O'Kane (@sokane1) March 6, 2019
And Twitter went off.
when the brain worms are hungry https://t.co/H0IVbgSIJv
— Chris Hayes (@chrislhayes) March 6, 2019
When you become a CEO you have to take the company’s name as your last name. Only Business Geniuses know this https://t.co/Sx7L3O7OWq
— Patrick Monahan (@pattymo) March 6, 2019
Diapers J. Bigot https://t.co/8bIQC2AmDI
— rob delaney (@robdelaney) March 6, 2019
Tim Apple, the son of Apple founder Steve Apple https://t.co/ik7owDHRvq
— Mike Drucker (@MikeDrucker) March 6, 2019
I just howled out loud at the gym laughing at this. Wow. https://t.co/zxWxeyjEES
— Chris D'Elia (@chrisdelia) March 6, 2019
This is like someone saying ‘Donald Criminal’ https://t.co/dFzHhpgT1N
— Fred Delicious (@Fred_Delicious) March 6, 2019
howard starbuck https://t.co/1gMB0s06C4
— Elizabeth Bruenig (@ebruenig) March 6, 2019
Bill Microsoft will be jealous https://t.co/DZhr4gJ98e
— Bill Corbett (@BillCorbett) March 6, 2019
When you save a contact from Tinder https://t.co/BcW8uyHKDq
— Marc (@MarcSnetiker) March 6, 2019
this is the nightmare version of the very good joke on Bob's Burgers where Teddy thinks Bob's last name is "Burger" https://t.co/MH9hYdD4yD
— Seth D. Michaels 🎁🎉 (@sethdmichaels) March 6, 2019
I give it very good odds that Donald Trump believes the Koch Brothers own Coca-Cola. https://t.co/xUOLbRZS3Z
— Scott Wampler™ (@ScottWamplerBMD) March 6, 2019
Only a cuck would run a company that doesn't have their name on it https://t.co/lbEH1ET48f
— Orli Matlow (@HireMeImFunny) March 6, 2019
But not everyone agreed that Trump was, once again, just shooting his mouth off with no input from his very dumb brain.
Eh I hear “Tim, Apple.” The inflection up infers he’s thanking Apple too or saying Tim (of) Apple. https://t.co/UDz33yH2aD
— Dan Milano (@DanMilanoHere) March 6, 2019
And I have to say I think that’s the correct interpretation. In the context of the full video it seems like Trump is saying “Tim—Apple” in his traditional jarring staccato, an attempt to highlight the biggest brand at the table. Also, he referred to Tim Cook by his full name earlier in the video.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 6, 2019
Of course, the more important scandal is that Cook and the rest of these CEOs seem to see an upside—and little downside—in providing Trump with private sector cover to push his racist fear-mongering about immigration.
“You see what’s going on at the border,” Trump said, as “Tim Apple” went from smiling wanly to lowering his eyes. “We’re doing an amazing job considering it’s really an onslaught very much. I call it an invasion, they always get upset when I say ‘an invasion’ but it really is somewhat of an invasion.”
And the financial upside for Apple is pretty clear, or at least calculable. Trump praised Cook for bringing “money back into the country because of the new tax law.” It’s true that Apple has said they plan on bringing overseas cash holdings back to the states and it’s true that they’ve said they’ll hire more American workers, over the next five years.
But what’s also true is that Apple, along with many companies that got a windfall thanks to Trump’s tax cut, used the savings to buyback their own stock. As Vox reported, Apple enriched their stockholders with a buyback “equal to the size of Ecuador’s GDP.”
Whatever you want to call Apple’s CEO, that’s real money in shareholders’ pockets, a vague “pledge” of jobs later on, and currying favor with the Trump administration.