President Donald Trump's track record with the truth has been called into question by detractors and supporters alike. And now, it needs to be questioned by Apple fans.
In an odd series of comments on Wednesday, Trump pushed the false narrative that he in some way played a role in opening a manufacturing plant Apple operates in Texas where it manufactures the Mac Pro desktop.
"We're seeing the beginning of a very powerful and important plant," Trump said with Apple CEO Tim Cook by his side on Wednesday. "Anybody that followed my campaign, I would always talk about Apple, that I want to see Apple building plants in the United States. And that's what's happening."
In a tweet celebrating his visit to the factory, Trump said that he "opened a major manufacturing plant in Texas."
The problem, however, is that his claims are categorically false. And even stranger, he failed to acknowledge that the manufacturing plant isn't even owned by Apple.
So, let's go back in time for a moment.
In 2013, far before the Trump presidency, Apple proudly announced that it was opening its manufacturing plant in 2013 to produce its high-end Mac Pro. Even before that, in December 2012, Cook told NBC in an interview that the company was planning to bring manufacturing to the U.S. and would start with the Mac.
When 2013 came around and the 2013 Mac Pro became a reality, the assembly lines at the facility in Texas were moving. Workers were working. And Apple's contractor partner, Flex, which actually owns the plant and assembles the Mac Pro on the company's behalf, was churning out desktops.
So, it's curious, if not laughable, that Trump says he "opened" the Mac Pro facility. He actually went on a tour of the facility with Cook to see how the company is manufacturing its latest Mac Pro model -- a Mac Pro model, it's worth noting, that was dangerously close to being sent to China for manufacturing because of Trump's own tariff policies.
Indeed, when Apple announced in September that it would continue to produce Mac Pros in Texas, the company said it was only "made possible following a federal product exclusion Apple is receiving for certain necessary components." In other words, the U.S. government had to help out on tariffs.
It was a loss for Trump, who warned in a tweet in July that "Apple will not be given tariff waiver, or relief, for Mac Pro parts that are made in China." Apple ultimately landed 10 out of the 15 tariff waivers it requested from the government.
That's not to say the people of Texas didn't get something in return. In addition to keeping Mac Pro manufacturing in the U.S., Apple is also opening a three million square foot campus in Austin, Texas that will house "engineering, research and development, operations, finance, sales, and customer support" for the company. Apple is investing $1 billion in the facility.
Oddly enough, Trump didn't spend much time talking about that investment--one that he could more easily stake claim to. Instead, he stuck to the manufacturing plant that he "opened" six years after it really opened.