Trump Reverses Obama Criticism, Touts New Jobs In Brief Remarks

Dec 28, 2016
Originally published on December 28, 2016 8:19 pm

President-elect Donald Trump and @realDonaldTrump are contradicting each other.

Wednesday afternoon, Trump emerged from his Mar-a-Lago resort to tell reporters that he and President Obama had spoken on the phone and had "a very nice conversation."

"I appreciate that he called me," Trump said.

The comment came hours after Trump blasted Obama on Twitter.

But asked by reporters Wednesday afternoon how that transition was going, Trump said, "I think very, very smoothly. Very good. You don't think so?" (A "not" was not forthcoming in real life.)

The Obama tiff — or non-tiff, depending on which Trump you listen to — is the latest sign of a disparity between Trump's public statements and his social media statements.

There's long been a serious personal rift between the two, but with Trump set to take the oath of office in less than a month, the stakes are higher. Presidents' words move markets and can create global tension.

Take Trump's recent tweet about nuclear weapons, which quickly ricocheted around the world despite Trump aides' efforts to minimize the importance of the statement.

On Wednesday Trump also highlighted a Japanese tech mogul's plans to create 8,000 new jobs in the U.S.

Trump had previously appeared with Masayoshi Son at Trump Tower, to announce Son's promise to invest $50 billion in the U.S. and create 50,000 new jobs.

Wednesday, Trump offered what appeared to be more specifics as part of that plan: 5,000 jobs that Sprint will bring back into the U.S. from overseas. Son's company, SoftBank, owns about 80 percent of Sprint.

"They're taking them from other countries. They're bringing them back to the United States," Trump said.

In a statement on its website, Sprint said it "anticipates these jobs will support a variety of functions across the organization, including its customer care and sales teams." But the jobs aren't finalized yet — the company said it will "begin discussions immediately with its business partners" and aims to fill the positions by the end of the 2017 fiscal year.

"We are excited to work with President-Elect Trump and his Administration to do our part to drive economic growth and create jobs in the U.S.," Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure said in the statement. "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."

The additional 3,000 jobs come from a $1 billion SoftBank investment in OneWeb, a Virginia company that will set up a factory in Florida to manufacture satellites to provide broadband Internet access.

Trump said the jobs are being created "because of what's happening and the spirit and the hope" around his election. He had previously taken credit for the Carrier Corp.'s keeping hundreds of jobs in Indiana — which came with tax concessions from the state where Trump's incoming vice president, Mike Pence, currently serves as governor.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.