Trump was saying 'Make America Great Again' long before he claims he thought it up

Story highlights

  • Trump told the Washington Post he coined his famous slogan the day after the 2012 election.
  • Trump used the phrase as early as December 2011.

(CNN)In an interview published Wednesday with the Washington Post, President-elect Donald Trump explained how he thought up and ultimately settled on his now famous campaign slogan, "Make America Great Again."

The phrase, Trump told the Post, came to him the day after 2012 Republican nominee Mitt Romney lost the election, while he was sitting in Trump tower mulling a presidential bid of his own. Trump liked the phrase so much, he instructed his lawyers to trademark it.
Trump did indeed seek trademark rights to the term less than a week later, but Trump's history with the phrase goes back much further than the days following the 2012 election.
In December of 2011, Trump bowed out of moderating a Republican presidential forum sponsored by Newsmax, saying in a statement he was not ready to rule out running as an independent candidate after The Apprentice ended in May 2012.
His choice of words? "I must leave all of my options open because, above all else, we must make America great again," Trump said.
The next month, on New Year's Day 2012, reports surfaced of a group of Trump's supporters who had filed for an independent party to appear on the Texas ballot -- laying the groundwork for a potential Trump presidential bid.
The party's name? "Make America Great Again Party."
Trump then took to the airwaves, appearing on Fox News three times over two days. In the interviews, he acknowledged how much he liked the name.
During an appearance on Jan. 2, 2012 on Fox and Friends, Trump was asked what he knew about the 'Make America Great Again' Party.
"Well I just heard about it, in fact, I heard about it on your show, and frankly I think it's a great name 'Make America Great,' because that's what it is all about, making America great," Trump replied.
A day later, on On the Record, host Greta Van Susteren again asked him about the "Make America Great Again" Party.
"Well, I do love the name, I think the name of party is fantastic, because that really is what it is all about. America soon will not be great," said Trump. "A lot of people would say right now it is not great.'
That same day, speaking with Neil Cavuto on Fox Business, Trump once again expressed how much he liked the party name.
"We could make America great... that's the name of the party that they filed for, and that's the name of the group 'Make America Great.' What a great name for a party, cause that's what it is all about. We have to take this country back. We have to make it great again."