The Associated Press reignited questions around a presidential mystery today, when it posted a piece asking whether Donald Trump has an imaginary friend named Jim. “Jim”—whose descriptions by Trump as a “very, very substantial” figure now seem weirdly defensive—has been a recurring feature in Trump’s speeches for some time now, generally when his comments drift toward Paris and France. He (or maybe “he”) got his biggest shout-out back in February, when Trump recounted an anecdote/story-time session in which Jim said, “Paris was no longer Paris,” presumably because more of the types of people Trump hates were now living in the city.
At the time, The New Yorker launched an extensive investigation into Jim’s identity, asking any number of high-powered Jameses and Jimmys whether they were the president’s no-last-name-given associate. Nobody came up, although Trump did score Euro Disney tickets for himself and his ghost-man buddy, courtesy of the city’s mockery-prone mayor, Anne Hidalgo.
As Mashable notes, it’s not like Trump’s above inventing a human being out of whole cloth; this is a guy who used to serve as his own spokespeople, Johns Barron and Miller, when he wanted to leak a story to the press. Still, the resurgent interest in Jim has people worried about him: Is he doing okay? Is it fun being imaginary? Is he sad that his Time cover story on his friend Donald got taken down? Let us know, Jim. We’re worried about you.
— Todd (@toddcaiazzo) July 13, 2017