Millions of Americans heard Donald Trump substitute the word“oranges” for “origins” three times at a photo op, but rather than accurately reflect that embarrassing reality, the White House invented a new word.
During an Oval Office spray with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg on Tuesday, Trump riffed on Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation. He told reporters “I hope they now go and take a look at the oranges, the oranges of the investigation, the beginnings of that investigation,” then managed to correctly say “origins” on his third try.
He went on to say that “the only thing that’s disappointing to me about the Mueller report” was that he wished it had covered “the oranges — how it started.”
But according to the official White House transcript, released almost five hours later at 6:47 pm, Trump didn’t say “oranges” at all, he said “oringes,” and he only did it twice:
And I hope that this investigation now, which is finished — it’s totally finished. No collusion. No obstruction. I hope they now go and take a look at the oringes [origins] — the origins of the investigation, the beginnings of that investigation. If you look at the origin of the investigation — where it started; how it started; who started it, whether it’s McCabe or Comey or a lot of them; where does it go; how high up in the White House did it go — you will all get Pulitzer Prizes, okay? You’d all get Pulitzer Prizes. You should have looked at it a long time ago.
And that’s the only thing that’s disappointing to me about the Mueller report. The Mueller report, I wish, covered the oringes [origins] of how it started — the beginnings of the investigation and how it started. It didn’t cover that. And for some reason, none of that was discussed.
Presumably, someone at the White House concluded that it’s less embarrassing for Trump to have made up an entirely new word that swaps letters and adds an “e” to “origins” than for him to have said “oranges” three times, which is what actually happened.