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Trump Was Proud Of Himself For Coming Up With A Phrase That He Definitely Did Not Come Up With

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.

Posted on May 11, 2017, at 10:02 a.m. ET

President Trump gave an extensive interview to The Economist about economic policy on May 4.

Evan Vucci / AP

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.

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."

But it turns out the only way Trump came up with this phrase a couple days ago is if he is a time traveler.

The phrase 'priming the pump' dates to the early 19th century.

Merriam-Webster — which has been known to troll the president frequently — explained that "pump priming" has been used to refer to government investment expenditures since at least 1933.

'Pump priming' has been used to refer to government investment expenditures since at least 1933.

People on Twitter immediately caught on to Trump's bogus claim.

And then proceeded to mercilessly mock it.

They bragged about some totally new phrases that they just came up with.

Never heard of this one.

Totally original phrase.

It was really impressive how people just came up with these expressions.

Have you heard of these before?