Donald Trump is seeking to take credit for 5,000 new jobs in the US that had previously been announced before election day.
Speaking to reporters in Florida, Mr Trump appeared to claim he was responsible for a decision by Sprint to add 5,000 positions within the US. A second company, OneWeb, a satellite start-up, has said it going to add a further 3,000 jobs.
“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,” Mr Trump told reporters on Wednesday, outside his Mar-a-Lago resort. “Masa and some other people were very much involved with that.”
Standing alongside boxing promoter Don King, he added: “They're taking them from other countries. They're bringing them back to the United States.”
But multiple reports said the 5,000 jobs Mr Trump was referring to were part of a broader US hiring plan that had been announced by Sprint’s Japan-based parent SoftBank Group Corp.
The company is headed by billionaire Masayoshi Son, whom Mr Trump refers to as “Masa” and who had previously announced a plan to invest $50bn in the US. SoftBank is also one of the major investors in OneWeb. Mr Trump met with Mr Son on December 6th.
The New York Times said that although Mr Trump sought to claim credit for the new investment, the plan dated back to before the election. Mr Son has owned a controlling stake in Sprint for several years.
A Sprint spokeswoman, Adrienne Norton, said the 5,000 jobs were part of the 50,000 increase Mr Son promised, but that the new positions would be financed by the mobile phone carrier.
“This is part of the 50,000 jobs that Masa previously announced,” she said. “This total will be a combination of newly created jobs and bringing some existing jobs back to the US.”
ABC News has said it had confirmed that the 5,000 Sprint jobs are part of a 50,000 job deal that the SoftBank CEO had planned weeks ago.
Mr Trump denied suggestions that the jobs of which he was seeking credit, had already been been announced, telling reporters later on Wednesday: “I just spoke with the head person. He said because of me they’re doing 5,000 jobs in this country.”
This is not the first time that Mr Trump has sought to take credit over job announcements. In November, he reached a deal with Carrier to keep around 850 jobs at its factory in Indianapolis instead of moving them to Mexico - something that was achieved with the help of large tax-breaks from the state government.
However, despite Mr Trump’s involvement, Carrier and its parent, United Technologies, still plan to move more than 1,000 Indiana jobs to the Mexican city of Monterrey.Reuse content