Trump: 'Tim Apple' gaffe was to save time, words

Trump: 'Tim Apple' gaffe was to save time, words

US President Donald Trump. AFP file photo

US President Donald Trump has tried to defend his recent gaffe of calling Apple CEO Tim Cook as "Tim Apple", saying his intention was to "save time and words".

At a meeting of the American Workforce Policy Advisory Board at the White House on Wednesday, Trump mistakenly referred to the Apple CEO as "Tim Apple", a verbal slip which netizens poked fun at by sharing rib-tickling memes on social media.

"At a recent round table meeting of business executives, and long after formally introducing Tim Cook of Apple, I quickly referred to Tim + Apple as Tim/Apple as an easy way to save time and words," Trump said.

The president slammed the media for its coverage of his awkward slip of tongue, saying the "fake news" was disparagingly all over it.

"The fake news was disparagingly all over this, and it became yet another bad Trump story!" he said in a tweet on Monday.

After Trump's slip up, Apple CEO had quietly changed his Twitter profile, replacing his last name with an emoji of the company's logo.

"We have so many companies coming in. 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'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," Trump had said at the meeting.

Trump is known for using nicknames and 'mispronouncing names' of people such as "Jeff Bozo" in reference to Jeff Bezos of Amazon. Last year, he had called Lockheed Martin CEO Marillyn Hewson "Marillyn Lockheed."

Trump's gaffe did not go down well with many netizens who poked fun at the president's mistake.

"Hey look, it's Tim Apple, son of Apple founder Steve Apple," said one user.

"A Tim Apple a day keeps the doctor away," wrote another.

Earlier in 2016, Trump was critical of Apple as the tech giant refused to unlock the suspected Pakistani-origin San Bernardino shooter's iPhone for the FBI. He even called for a boycott of the company's products.

When Trump was running his presidential campaign, he tweeted that he had sold his stock in Apple as the company wasn't making bigger phones "like Samsung".

Cook has previously criticised Trump's decision to withdraw from the landmark Paris climate accord and condemned the president's travel ban targeting seven predominantly Muslim countries.

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