What Donald Trump said to Apple’s Tim Cook

“I got a call from Tim Cook at Apple, and I said, ‘Tim…'”

From a transcript of the President elect’s meeting Tuesday with the New York Times editorial board:

DONALD TRUMP: I’ve talked numerous comp — in four-minute conversations with top people — numerous companies that have, leaving, or potentially leaving our country with thousands of jobs.

THOMAS FRIEDMAN: Are you worried, though, that those companies will keep their factories here, but the jobs will be replaced by robots?

TRUMP: They will, and we’ll make the robots too.


TRUMP: It’s a big thing, we’ll make the robots too. Right now we don’t make the robots. We don’t make anything. But we’re going to, I mean, look, robotics is becoming very big and we’re going to do that. We’re going to have more factories. We can’t lose 70,000 factories. Just can’t do it. We’re going to start making things.

I was honored yesterday, I got a call from Bill Gates, great call, we had a great conversation, I got a call from Tim Cook at Apple, and I said, ‘Tim, you know one of the things that will be a real achievement for me is when I get Apple to build a big plant in the United States, or many big plants in the United States, where instead of going to China, and going to Vietnam, and going to the places that you go to, you’re making your product right here.’ He said, ‘I understand that.’ I said: ‘I think we’ll create the incentives for you, and I think you’re going to do it. We’re going for a very large tax cut for corporations, which you’ll be happy about.’ 

See also: Trump took calls from Tim Cook and Bill Gates —update


  1. George Row said:
    The problem of manufacturing in the USA is not simply one of costs.

    Some years before he died Steve Jobs explained that the USA simply did not have the engineers and technicians needed to set up a consumer manufacturing plant on the scale needed for a device such as the iPhone.
    How many people are employed in iPhone assembly-lines? I’d guess it is 100s of thousands.

    This is not something that could be fixed with a few million dollars and a couple of training courses. It would require overhauling the education system for the next generation.

    I am sure that Tim Cook and Apple have gained plenty of insights from the experience of setting up their MacPro assembly plant.

    November 23, 2016
  2. Robert Varipapa said:
    And your next iPhone will only cost $1300 (or $54 per month x 24 🙂

    November 23, 2016
  3. Tom Wyrick said:
    Another 24 hours have passed, and no independent confirmation has yet appeared from Bill Gates or Tim Cook that the alleged conversations with Mr. Trump ever took place, or what was said if they did.

    Investors risking their life savings need to distinguish between self-serving claims represented as facts, and actual facts. This article doesn’t appear to recognize that distinction (“What Donald Trump said to … Tim Cook”).

    The sole first-hand account is Mr. Trump’s characterization of the two calls: He told the NYT editorial board he was personally “honored” by calls from Gates and Cook. Everything else related to the alleged calls occurred out of their presence, and was filtered through the mind and mouth of Mr. Trump.

    Various news stories have reported on Mr. Trump putting words into the mouths of others. Most vividly, I recall that on July 31, NFL officials flatly denied writing a letter to Trump, right after he claimed they did. (Mr. Trump didn’t offer to show reporters the alleged letter from the NFL.)

    Here’s a pertinent lesson about human nature: Powerful, abusive people frequently present a false version of reality that others are afraid to challenge — so their bogus claim is the story that gets reported. Those with with abusive spouses, parents and bosses know the pattern all too well. They either go along with the charade, or pay the consequences later.

    November 23, 2016
      • Tom Wyrick said:
        How long does it take for a full-time spokesperson to confirm that his/her company’s CEO spoke with “the most powerful man in the world” about public policies that would directly affect the company, with billions of dollars hanging in the balance?

        The same amount of time it takes to say “Yes.”

        Tim Cook understands other people — how they want (i.e., need) to be treated. So if he never had the conversation with Mr. Trump, he is not going to embarrass Trump by implying that he “stretched the truth.” If he did speak with Trump, Cook’s silence now avoids saying anything that might contradict the Trump version of the conversation. Cook no doubt has to coddle the fragile-ego oligarchs of China and Russia, too, so he is an experienced practitioner of the art.

        Investors are unlikely to ever know what did or did not pass between the two men. However, it appears that Mr. Trump wants NYT editors to believe that he has a good relationship with Tim Cook and Apple. For now.

        November 24, 2016

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