First there was “Jeff Bozo.” Now there’s “Tim Apple.”
President Donald Trump and Apple CEO Tim Cook have had some tense moments in the past, but none quite like this. In a meeting of the American Workforce Policy Advisory Board at the White House on Wednesday to discuss the importance of technology in education, Trump referred to the head of the iPhone maker as “Tim Apple.”
President Trump uses nicknames for many people — mostly adversaries like Sen. Elizabeth Warren, former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Sen. Bernie Sanders. His use of “Jeff Bozo” in referring to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos is due largely to the billionaire’s ownership of the Washington Post, which has reported critically on the Trump administration.
However, he’s never used the nickname “Tim Apple,” and it appears as if it was a slip of the tongue, similar to when he called Lockheed Martin CEO Marillyn Lockheed last year. Her name is Marillyn Hewson.
Trump has criticized Apple in the past, even calling for a boycott of the company’s products in 2016 because Apple said it couldn’t unlock a user’s iPhone for the FBI. Well before he became a presidential candidate, Trump would tweet critically about Apple not making a bigger phone, and said he sold his Apple stock because of it.
In early 2018, Apple said it would have a $350 billion contribution to the U.S. economy over the next five years. Later in the year, Cook attended President Trump’s first state dinner, and the two had another dinner a few months after that.
On Wednesday, Cook was talking about teaching kids programming in high school.
“We believe strongly that it should be a requirement in the United States for every kid to have coding before they graduate from K-12” and “to become somewhat proficient at it,” Cook said . Cook pointed out that his company was founded by a college dropout.
“We have so many companies coming in. 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’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.”
(The comment appears at the 27:28 mark in the video above.)
Apple had a market cap of $828.2 billion at market close on Wednesday, making it one of the most valuable companies in the world.