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President Trump claims he 'opened' Apple's 6-year-old Mac Pro plant in Texas yesterday

Donald Trump Mac Pro
Donald Trump Mac Pro (Image credit: AP/Evan Vucci)

What you need to know

  • President Donald Trump has claimed he "opened" Apple's manufacturing plant in Texas.
  • He made the claim following his tour of the facility, November 20, and again later that day on Twitter.
  • Apple has in fact been manufacturing the Mac Pro there since 2013.

Yesterday marked the highly touted visit of President Donald Trump to Apple's manufacturing facility in Austin, Texas, but the visit was not without its controversies.

In fact, during the visit, Donald Trump managed to set the internet on fire, after claiming that he had "opened" Apple's manufacturing plant that day, despite the fact that the factory has been making Apple's Mac Pro since 2013... six years ago... He reportedly said this to press during the tour, before taking to Twitter later that day to reiterate his statement.

Several outlets and Twitter users were very quick to point out that this was absolutely not true. AP Fact Check as well as Engadget pointed out the fact that the plant has been in business for years.

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The New York Times' Jack Nicas also pointed out the falsity of the statement on Twitter:

President Trump just toured a Texas plant that has been making Apple computers since 2013 and took credit for it, suggesting the plant opened today. "Today is a very special day."Tim Cook spoke immediately after him and did not correct the record.President Trump: "I said, 'Someday we're going to see Apple building plants in our country, not in China. And that's what's happening."This is false. Apple hasn't built any plants in the U.S. & still makes the vast majority of its products in China.

Nicas also noted that the plant in Texas is not even Apple's own, it is in fact owned and run by a company called Flextronics. This is despite the fact the President falsely claimed, "I said, 'Someday we're going to see Apple building plants in our country, not in China. And that's what's happening."

It seems very difficult to pinpoint exactly what President Trump was trying to get at with his claim during the tour and his later tweet. Whilst Apple did announce the beginning of construction work on a new Campus in Texas yesterday, that facility will not be opened until 2022 and has absolutely nothing to do with manufacturing whatsoever. It seems far-fetched to try and suggest that President Trump was somehow confused by the two respective events.

Whether or not President Trump is genuinely mistaken about Apple's plant (unlikely), or whether he was simply bending the truth, the episode is most certainly an embarrassment for Apple and Tim Cook. Whilst Nicas (above) noted "I don't know why Tim Cook didn't correct the president", it can safely be assumed that fact-checking the President live in front of the world's press may not have done wonders for Cook's carefully curated relationship with the President. Furthermore, as the reaction of the internet to this blunder shows, everyone else is seemingly aware that President Trump's claim was false, Tim Cook may well have known this also, prudently choosing to remain silent.

This wasn't the only revelation from the visit, however. Again, somewhat awkwardly, President Trump reportedly complimented Tim Cook before asking him what he thought of the US economy, to which Tim Cook replied, "I think we have the strongest economy in the world right now." The President also said on the subject of tariffs, we"ll look into that."

Regarding the Mac Pro, Apple has confirmed that the new juggernaut desktop offering from the company will be available in December, along with the Pro Display XDR.

Stephen Warwick
Stephen Warwick

Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design.

Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple.

  • Welp, now that you folks have managed to shine a light on the "Orange Man's" lie, raise a fist in the air as you shout in unison: "IMPEACH!, IMPEACH!, IMPEACH!" Is it not reasonable to posit that some wingnut on the President's team (who is likely now unemployed) informed him "erroneously" that this was a new facility? Isn't it just as possible that the President only heard part of a conversation about the plant as he was busy addressing some of the country's other matters? Goodness, we get it! You folks are not happy with this President, but continually injecting your biases under the guise of reporting Apple related tech news is just a bit silly.
  • There is so much wrong with you message: There is a direct connection here, trump is messing up Apple bottom line ($$$x$) - like he is messing up other industry sectors. A president that gets so much WRONG needs to be called out every time.
    Him messes up so often DEMANDS attention less some fool(s) thinks he did good.
  • Of course you will list each and every occurrence of when a Democrat politician is less than truthful in their statements as well. Last I checked, Apple's bottom line is doing great. Not to mention the jolt the company received the corporate tax cuts that made repatriating billions of dollars much more cost effective.
  • No, it is unlikely that he didn't know it was not new, it wasn't Apple's and he had nothing to do with it. Well, except nearly closing it due to proposed tariffs. It uses imported parts to assemble those Mac Pros, that have tariffs delayed for some. Had they all been kept, this plant would have closed. Surely the wingnuts would have briefed him on this. It is just as possible, they don't bother with the truth, as it irrelevant.
  • Whoa, is this where we are right now? Let's break this down: iMore is an Apple enthusiast website, so natural its going to report that the President claimed to just open a plant that builds Mac Pros thats been around six years. But he didn't and that is just fact. This theory you have about an aide is speculation. That's not fact. I for one is glad the iMore is reporting on fact not on speculation. If you want a specific type of speculation there plenty of other websites for you to peruse.