Trump says he invented an 84-year-old phrase. But, why?

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Oh please:

Maybe it was a joke?

This is the eternal undercurrent of the Trump era: Does he actually mean what he says? Is he riffing? Is he joking? Is he serious? Is he exaggerating? Is he lying? President Trump’s conversations and statements and braggadocio all live in the same nebulous cloud encompassing all of those possibilities, a Schrodinger’s box in which the cat has no fixed state until you look inside — and even then you’re likely to be told that the very dead cat you’re holding is, in fact, alive.

So we have a transcript from an interview Trump gave to the Economist magazine.

ECONOMIST: Beyond that, it’s okay if the tax plan increases the deficit?

TRUMP: It is okay, because it won’t increase it for long. You may have two years where you’ll … you understand the expression “prime the pump”?

ECONOMIST: Yes.

TRUMP: We have to prime the pump.

ECONOMIST: It’s very Keynesian.

TRUMP: We’re the highest-taxed nation in the world. Have you heard that expression before, for this particular type of an event?

ECONOMIST: Priming the pump?

TRUMP: Yeah, have you heard it?

ECONOMIST: Yes.

TRUMP: Have you heard that expression used before? Because I haven’t heard it. I mean, I just … I came up with it a couple of days ago and I thought it was good. It’s what you have to do.

Asking an Economist writer if he or she has heard the expression “prime the pump” is like asking Sports Illustrated writers if they’ve heard of “RBIs” or asking someone at Playboy if they’re aware that you can have your body surgically enhanced. Of course they have heard the term, because Trump, contrary to what he suggests, didn’t invent the phrase, much less come up with it “a couple of days ago.”

You can read the rest at the Washington Post.

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