Having thanked himself for record high stocks, soaring spending, and spiking confidence, President-elect Donald Trump will be making a "positive" announcement on economic development Wednesday afternoon, according to transition aides.
Aides did not provide further details, but spokesman and future White House press secretary Sean Spicer intimated to reporters that the news will be about American jobs.
"The president-elect will have some news on the economic front later this afternoon that should be very positive for American workers," he said during the daily call with reporters.
First, Trump again took the opportunity to slam the UN, saying “there is such tremendous potential, but it is not living up,” he told reporters at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach. "When do you see the United Nations solving problems? They don’t. They cause problems.” “So, if it lives up to its potential, it’s a great thing,” Trump added when asked if the U.S. should leave 71-year-old organization. "And if it doesn’t, it’s a waste of time and money.”
In the past week, Trump has repeatedly attacked the U.N.’s credibility since its Security Council passed a resolution last week demanding an end to Israeli settlement building in occupied territories, which took place only after the US abstained from the vote instead of vetoing it. The president-elect on Monday, for example, blasted the institution’s effectiveness, dismissing it as “just a club for people to get together, talk and have a good time.” Trump has also criticized the U.N. Security Council’s resolution for giving the Palestinians too much leverage in negotiations with Israel.
Earlier on Wednesday, John Kerry defended America’s abstention, characterizing it as a tough but vital message for Israel’s government. “Friends need to tell each other the hard truths and friendships require mutual respect,” he said at the State Department. "If the choice is one state, Israel can either be Jewish or democratic. It cannot be both, and it won’t ever really be at peace.”
Trump has promised stronger ties between the U.S. and Israel after President Obama’s often frosty relationship with Netanyahu.
Then the president-elect turned to jobs, and again speaking to reporters gathered at Mar-a-lago, Trump said management at the phone company Sprint, which will add 5,000 people to its U.S. workforce, and OneWeb, a new technology company that plans to bring on 3,000 workers, called to inform him of their decisions on Wednesday. The new jobs at both companies appear to be related to an announcement Trump made earlier this month about an investment by Japanese tech company SoftBank, which said it will introduce 50,000 new jobs into the country.
It was unclear how the 8,000 jobs are related to a $50 billion investment announced in December by Japan's SoftBank Group, which is associated with both companies. SoftBank's head, billionaire businessman Masayoshi Son, said at the time his investment would create 50,000 jobs.
Trump said Wednesday that SoftBank founder and CEO Masayoshi Son was instrumental in orchestrating the round of new hires at both Sprint and OneWeb. Softbank owns 80% of Sprint, and OneWeb announced last week that it would hire 3,000 additional employees based on financing provided by the banking giant.
“We just had some very good news, because of what’s happening and the spirit and the hope, I was just called by the head people at Sprint and they’re going to be bringing 5,000 jobs back to the United States,” Trump told the assembled press in Palm Beach.
Speaking at Mar-a-Lago, Donald Trump claims Sprint "bringing back 5,000 jobs" to the US. pic.twitter.com/qxLX1VEF3k— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) December 28, 2016
“They’re going to be taking them from other countries, bringing them back to the United States and [Son] and some other people were very much involved in that so I want to thank them. And also OneWeb, a new company, is going to be hiring 3,000 people, so that’s very exciting.... So we have a combination of Sprint for 5,000 jobs and that’s coming from all over the world back into the United States, which is a nice change, and also OneWeb, 3,000 jobs, that’s a new company.”
Over the past month, Trump has been publicly engaging with companies such as Carrier, pressuring some to keep jobs in the U.S. or to lower their fees for government-related projects.
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Below is the press release issued moments ago by Sprint following Trump's announcement:
Today, Sprint (NYSE: S) announced a commitment to create or bring back to America 5,000 jobs. The company anticipates these jobs will support a variety of functions across the organization including its Customer Care and Sales teams. Sprint will begin discussions immediately with its business partners, states and cities to determine the right locations in the U.S. to create these jobs. The company expects to fulfill this commitment by the end of its fiscal year 2017 and will provide additional details when they are available.
“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.,” said Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure. “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.”