U.S. Markets close in 25 mins

Trump claims to have received a pioneering Apple product as he leaves office – the truth is more complicated than that

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
Adam Smith
·3 min read
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

Apple CEO Tim Cook gave former president Donald Trump a Mac Pro computer that was misleadingly described as “the first created at the Flex Factory in Austin Texas”.

The gift highlights the strange relationship between Mr Trump and the smartphone giant. Throughout the president’s term, Apple was cautiously close to Mr Trump, though he famously referred to its chief executive as “Tim Apple”.

However, the gift, which was revealed in Mr Trump’s final financial disclosure report and shared by the New York Times, was not in fact the first created at the factory in Texas, despite claims to the contrary.

The Mac Pro had been constructed in Austin from 19 December, 2013 – as revealed in a tweet by Apple CEO Tim Cook.

“We have begun manufacturing the Mac Pro in Austin. It’s the most powerful Mac ever. Orders start tomorrow”, Mr Cook tweeted then.

It is unclear exactly when the gift was presented to Mr Trump, but it is undoubtedly after 2013 due to the fact that the document is marked by the United States Office of Government Ethics.

The gift was most likely sent in 2019, around the time Mr Trump toured those facilities in Austin. His trip to the Flex factory was covered widely, but the gift of the computer was not public.

Mr Trump’s claim to have received the first of the computers could be a reference to it potentially being the first of Apple’s new Mac Pros to be built in Texas. Apple released a new and entirely redesigned version of the computer at the end of 2019.

Apple did not respond to a request for comment from The Independent by time of publication.

WATCH: Trump social media bans raise debate about tech regulation

The claim that Mr Trump made Apple build a brand-new factory in Texas was repeatedly restated by the president.

“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”, Mr Trump told Mr Cook in March 2019, apparently in another attempt to have Apple manufacturer products in the US, something it already did.

“We appreciate it very much, Tim Apple,” the former president added, infamously referring to the CEO by the wrong name.

"Apple will not be given Tariff wavers, or relief, for Mac Pro parts that are made in China. Make them in the USA, no Tariffs!" Mr Trump also said in July 2019, although the former president had granted exceptions for the manufacturer of the iPhone and Apple’s AirPods headphones.

“Today I opened a major Apple Manufacturing plant in Texas that will bring high paying jobs back to America. Today Nancy Pelosi closed Congress because she doesn’t care about American Workers!”, Mr Trump also falsely tweeted in November 2019, although the record is now obscured due to Twitter removing him from their platform.

As well as the Mac Pro, Donald Trump also received four sets of custom golf clubs from the CEO of Boeing and various golf organisations.

Mr Trump routinely criticised his predecessor Barack Obama for how often he played, despite spending significantly more time on the golf course than Mr Obama by May 2018.

WATCH: What are the risks of investing in cryptocurrency?

Read More

Donald Trump: Four years of division, chaos and lies in the USA