Trump takes credit from Japanese mogul for 8,000 jobs
Jobs announced Wednesday are from the same package SoftBank promised earlier this month
Donald Trump on Wednesday touted plans by a Japanese mogul to bring 8,000 jobs to the United States — the first of the 50,000 jobs tech billionaire Masayoshi Son promised to create after meeting with the president-elect earlier in December.
"I was just called by the head people at Sprint and they are going to be bringing 5,000 jobs back to the United States, they are taking them from other countries," Trump told reporters outside his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida. "And also OneWeb, a new company, is going to be hiring 3,000 people. So that's very exciting," he added.
However, the announcement isn't entirely new. The companies said the positions were part of the previously disclosed pledge by Japan's SoftBank Group Corp.
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Son is the founder and chief executive of SoftBank, one of Japan's largest technology outfits. He owns the U.S. mobile carrier Sprint and controls OneWeb. On Dec. 6, he vowed to invest $50 billion in the United States and create 50,000 jobs.
Sprint spokesman Dave Tovar said the jobs were part of the pledge made by Son but would be funded by Sprint.
Trump credited the jobs to "what's happening and the spirit and the hope."
Still, the U.S. job market has been robust for much of 2016. Employers have added more than 2.2 million jobs over the past 12 months — a sign of economic health that pre-dates Trump's presidential victory.
Staff reductions at Sprint
Sprint has struggled since its 2013 acquisition by SoftBank. The carrier shed roughly 9,000 workers between 2012 and 2016, reducing its staff to 30,000, according to annual reports.
Sprint in January said it had cut 2,500 jobs as part of its plan to cut $2.5 billion in costs.
Sprint's attempt to join with rival T-Mobile failed in 2014 after regulators objected to combining two of the four largest mobile telecom companies in the United States. Analysts say a Trump administration would be more likely to approve telecom mergers, including a deal between Sprint and T-Mobile.
Sprint Chief Executive Marcelo Claure said in a statement that the company is "excited" to work with Trump.
"We believe it is critical for business and government to partner together to create more job opportunities in the U.S. and ensure prosperity for all Americans," Claure said.
The Sprint jobs announcement came after tensions rose and fell Wednesday between Trump and Obama. Trump has made it clear that it didn't sit well with him when Obama recently boasted that he would have won the election if he'd been running.
"Doing my best to disregard the many inflammatory President O statements and roadblocks," Trump tweeted Wednesday morning. "Thought it was going to be a smooth transition — NOT!"
Doing my best to disregard the many inflammatory President O statements and roadblocks.Thought it was going to be a smooth transition - NOT!—@realDonaldTrump
Later, however, journalists at Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida asked him about the tweet and how he thought the transition was going.
He said: "I think very, very smoothly. It's very good. You don't think so?"
Even later Wednesday, Trump told reporters he had spoken by phone with Obama and said the two "had a very nice conversation."
White House spokesman Eric Schultz said Obama phoned Trump. "Today's call, like the others since the election, was positive and focused on continuing a smooth and effective transition," Schultz said. "The president and president-elect committed to staying in touch over the next several weeks."
Trump also took direct issue with the Obama administration's decision to let a United Nations Security Council resolution critical of Israel pass.
"We cannot continue to let Israel be treated with such total disdain and disrespect," he said in a two-part tweet. "They used to have a great friend in the U.S., but ... not anymore. The beginning of the end was the horrible Iran deal, and now this (U.N.)! Stay strong Israel, January 20th is fast approaching!"
We cannot continue to let Israel be treated with such total disdain and disrespect. They used to have a great friend in the U.S., but.......—@realDonaldTrump
not anymore. The beginning of the end was the horrible Iran deal, and now this (U.N.)! Stay strong Israel, January 20th is fast approaching!—@realDonaldTrump
The president-elect's complaints about the treatment of Israel came a few hours before John Kerry made his final speech about Mideast peace as secretary of state. Kerry criticized Israel for settlement-building and accused Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of dragging Israel away from democracy.
Trump resumed his busy schedule of meetings following a brief lull for the holidays.
He first met with David Rubenstein, head of the Carlyle Group investment firm. He also met former California Lt.-Gov. Abel Maldonado and former Texas A&M president Elsa Murano — two candidates for agriculture secretary.
Trump also held meetings with a number of medical executives, likely for discussions about Obama's signature health-care plan, which Trump has called a "total disaster."
They include Mayo Clinic chief executive John Noseworthy; the head of Johns Hopkins medical centre, Paul Rothman; the head of the Cleveland Clinic, Toby Cosgrove; and Partners Healthcare chief executive David Torchiana. Spicer said Trump would also discuss Obamacare in a meeting with former Wisconsin governor Tommy Thompson.
Trump is telling visitors to his Florida club that he plans to write his inaugural address himself and is drawing inspiration from Presidents Ronald Reagan and John F. Kennedy.
Trump told visitors that Reagan had "incredible style." He has also noted the upcoming 100th anniversary of Kennedy's birth, according to someone who spoke to Trump and insisted on anonymity in order to disclose private conversations.
With files from Reuters