The president said he came up with the phrase “priming the pump” just a couple of days ago. The phrase dates back to the early 19th century.
President Trump gave an extensive interview to The Economist about economic policy on May 4.
On Thursday, The Economist released a lightly edited transcript of the interview where treasury secretary Steve Mnuchin and director of the National Economic Council Gary Cohn were also present.
Evan Vucci / AP
While talking about his tax reform plan, Trump used the phrase “priming the pump” and claimed that he came up with it “a couple of days ago.” Except that the phrase dates back to the early 19th century, according to, you know, the dictionary.
Trump asked the editors from The Economist if they had had heard of the expression “prime the pump” and whether they understood it.
The Economist editors repeatedly assured him they had heard of it and even told him that the phrase was “very Keynesian.”
Trump asked again, “Have you heard that expression used before? Because I haven't heard it. I mean, I just… came up with it a couple of days ago and I thought it was good.”