Anyone can randomly misspeak. Some people do it far more often than others. Sometimes the smartest and most coherent of people get the most tongue tied. Donald Trump is not among the smartest or most coherent of people. When he referred to Apple CEO Tim Cook as “Tim Apple” this week, it was part of a much larger pattern of evidence that his cognitive abilities are failing. But it’s what Trump did next that reveals he’s even further gone than we thought.
Any normal person who accidentally referred to Tim Cook as “Tim Apple” would have handled the situation one of two ways: ignore it or make a joke out of it. But Donald Trump is not a normal person. In fact he’s so worried about the fact that he misspoke, he went on to privately tell his own donors that he didn’t actually say “Tim Apple” and that he instead said “Tim Cook – Apple.” No, really.
Donald Trump apparently hurt himself by trying this nonsense, because one of his own donors was put off enough by it to go running to Axios and blab about the whole thing. It’s a bad sign when your own allies, who are corrupt enough to fund your traitorous crime spree, are offended enough by your sheer idiocy to alert the media about it. Then Trump went and made it worse.
This morning Trump tweeted “At a recent round table meeting of business executives, & long after formally introducing Tim Cook of Apple, I quickly referred to Tim + Apple as Tim/Apple as an easy way to save time & words. The Fake News was disparagingly all over this, & it became yet another bad Trump story!” You’ve got to be kidding. This sounds like something Kevin Malone – the cartoonishly unintelligent accountant – once said on The Office.
The problem here isn’t merely that Donald Trump increasingly sounds mentally vacant when he speaks. It’s not that he thinks the CEO of Lockheed is named “Marilyn Lockheed” or that the CEO of Apple is named “Tim Apple.” It’s that Trump can’t admit his brain is failing him. When he once referred to CJ Martinez as “DJ” in a speech, he then quickly made up a story about how Martinez goes by both CJ and DJ. This is beyond alarming. It’s what happens when malignant narcissism meets some kind of worsening early onset dementia – and it isn’t pretty.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report