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Trump says he created the word 'fake,' defends Puerto Rico towels

For real: President Trump thinks he came up with the word “fake.”

Trump credited himself with thinking of one of his favorite words in a Saturday interview with former Arkansas governor and presidential candidate Mike Huckabee.

The half-hour talk — which aired on the Christian network Trinity Broadcasting — captured Trump repeatedly praising and defending himself for some of his most recent controversies, including his paper towel tossing during his trip to storm-ravaged Puerto Rico.

At one point, Trump boasted about coining a word that has been around since the late 18th century — and now constantly appears in his Twitter feed and public remarks.

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“I think one of the greatest of all terms I’ve come up with is ‘fake,’” he told Huckabee.

“I guess other people have used it, perhaps, over the years, but I’ve never noticed it.”

Trump was likely referring to his favored term “fake news,” which he throws at nearly any news organization that reports unflattering stories on his administration.

This isn’t the first time the master of branding has claimed he came up with a common phrase.

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Donald Trump with Mike Huckabee in January 2016.

(Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

In a May interview with The Economist, Trump said he invented the term “priming the pump,” claiming he “came up with it a couple of days ago and I thought it was good.”

“Priming the pump” has been used since at least the 1930s, according to the Merriam Webster Dictionary, and even Trump himself had used it prior to that interview.

In his Huckabee interview, Trump once again reignited his feud with San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz while talking up his much-mocked appearance in Puerto Rico last week.

While saying Cruz did “a very poor job” responding to Hurricane Maria, he spoke lovingly of the paper towel rolls he tossed to a crowd in a San Juan church in one of the most notorious moments from his day trip.

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“They had these beautiful, soft towels. Very good towels,” Trump said.

“I came in and there was a crowd of a lot of people. And they were screaming and they were loving everything. I was having fun, they were having fun. They said, ‘Throw ‘em to me! Throw ‘em to me, Mr. President!’”

He said the “cheering was incredible” during his visit to the decimated U.S. territory.

President Trump said he threw "soft, beautiful" towels to Puerto Ricans during his visit.

President Trump said he threw “soft, beautiful” towels to Puerto Ricans during his visit.

(Evan Vucci/AP)

Trump also called Stephen Paddock, the Las Vegas gunman who killed 58 people at a country music concert, “a sick person — but probably smart.” And he waved off any accountability for health care after the GOP’s attempts to repeal and replace Obamacare failed.

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“I want to focus on North Korea. I want to focus on Iran. I want to focus on other things. I don’t want to focus on fixing somebody’s back or their knee or something,” Trump said.

“Let the states do that.”

Trump wasn’t the only one looking for an ego boost in the interview.

Huckabee started the conversation by asking Trump’s view on White House Press Secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders — who is Huckabee’s daughter.

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“Mr. President, let me get to the most important question I will ask you today: Tell me, how good is your press secretary?” Huckabee asked.

Trump called Huckabee Sanders a “great person” who has handled the “haters” in the White House press corp “with brilliance.”

“You did a good job,” Trump told Huckabee, immediately adding, “Your wife did a better job.” Huckabee agreed.

Tags:
donald trump
puerto rico
hurricanes
hurricane maria
sarah huckabee sanders

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