Trump Touts Sprint's Jobs Plan, Reverses Obama Criticism

The reversal appeared to come after Trump and Obama spoke privately

Donald Trump said Wednesday that Sprint will bring back 5,000 jobs to the United States while another company, OneWeb, will hire 3,000 workers. 

"Because of what is happening and the spirit and the hope, 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 have taken them from other countries," Trump said outside his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida.

The president-elect said the deal "was done through" SoftBank CEO and the current chairman of Sprint Corp., Masayoshi Son, a Japanese billionaire and technology investor. Son also owns OneWest, a startup internet company.

The telecom mogul promised to invest $50 billion in the U.S. and create 50,000 jobs after a private meeting with Trump in December, The Wall Street Journal reported. A Sprint spokesperson told NBC News the jobs announced Wednesday are part of Son's earlier commitment, but that the 5,000 jobs will be funded by Sprint, not SoftBank.

Sprint has struggled under SoftBank. The carrier shed roughly 9,000 workers between 2012 and 2016, reducing its staff to 30,000, according to annual reports, The Associated Press reported.

In 2014, federal regulators objected to Sprint's attempt to join with rival T-Mobile, a merger that would have combined two of the four largest mobile telecom companies in the United States. But a Trump administration would be more likely to approve blockbuster mergers, including a deal between Sprint and T-Mobile, analysts say.

Sprint Chief Executive Marcelo Claure said in a statement that the company is "excited" to work with Trump.

“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 a statement following the announcement. “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.”

During his campaign, the New York businessman pledged to do more to protect workers' interest and singled out numerous companies for criticism.

Earlier this month, Trump brokered a deal to keep a Carrier plant in Indiana and save about 1,000 jobs. Under the proposed deal with Carrier's parent company United Technologies, the company would receive $7 million in financial incentives over 10 years in exchange for a guarantee that Carrier would retain at least 1,000 jobs and invest $16 million into its Indiana operation, a source familiar with the talks said, NBC News reported.

He has also called on Boeing and Lockheed Martin Corp to lower their costs for U.S. military and government projects.

On Tuesday, Trump thanked himself for a surge in a key gauge of consumer confidence. He wrote on Twitter that the Conference Board had reported that its consumer confidence index had climbed to 113.7 in December, the highest the index has climbed in more than 15 years.

"Thanks Donald!" he wrote.

The Sprint announcement came after tensions rose and fell Wednesday between Trump and President Barack Obama. The president-elect accused president Obama of throwing up "inflammatory" roadblocks during the transition of power and said his administration has treated Israel with "total disdain and disrespect."

"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!"

However, later Wednesday Trump told journalists at Mar-a-Lago that the changeover of power is going "very, very smoothly."

The reversal appeared to come after Trump and Obama spoke privately. “He phoned me,” Trump told reporters. “We 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."

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