Yesterday Donald Trump gave a very brief press conference at Mar-a-Lago in Florida, and spoke again with the press later in the day. If the reaction by reporters and editors is any indication, we are in for a long four years.
Trump said that Sprint announced it will move to the U.S., or create in the U.S., 5,000 new jobs. He noted that OneWeb would bring another 3,000 jobs to the U.S.:
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 are going to be bringing 5,000 jobs back to the United States. They are taking them from other countries. They are bringing them back to the United States. And Masa and some other people were very much involved in that. So, I want to thank them.
And also, One Web, 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 and they are coming back into the United States which is a nice change. And also One Web, 3,000 jobs. That is a new company.
And it was done through Masa, terrific guy and we appreciate it.
Masa is Masayoshi Son, a Japanese billionaire who controls SoftBank.
This was a mild bit of self-promotion by Trump, but it unleashed the fury of the press, which didn’t want anyone to get the wrong impression:
Similar stories go on for pages. The Associated Press jumped into the breach with a piece headlined, AP Explains: Did Trump just create 8,000 jobs? If you read carefully, you find out that the answer is Yes.
Donald Trump gave himself kudos for the creation of 8,000 new U.S. jobs by a Japanese tech mogul, saying it was proof of “the spirit and the hope” stirred by his presidential win.
But for those particular jobs, Trump was basically taking a bow for the second time. The jobs were part of a public commitment made on December 6 by Masayoshi Son upon emerging from the elevator bank at Trump Tower after a meeting with Trump. Son pledged that companies controlled by his firm SoftBank would invest $50 billion in the United States and create 50,000 jobs.
So Trump has taken credit for this particular job creation twice? The horror!
Mr. Son confirmed that these business moves relate to his discussions with Trump:
Son linked his investment to meeting with Trump.
“Earlier this month I met with President-elect Trump and shared my commitment to investing and creating jobs in the U.S.,” he said in a statement about the investment. “This is the first step in that commitment.”
I don’t know whether Trump’s effort to promote job creation in the U.S. will succeed or not, but the alacrity with which the press tried to deny him any credit for these developments is troubling. The most absurd commentary came from Vanity Fair: “TRUMP BREAKS HIS SILENCE IN BIZARRE, ERROR-FILLED PRESS CONFERENCES.”
Six months after Donald Trump last held a formal press conference, during which he called on Russia to hack Hillary Clinton [Ed: Wrong], the president-elect finally spoke with reporters Wednesday during two impromptu, largely fact-free press conferences outside his gilded Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida. In his signature stream-of-consciousness style, the president-elect—at one point flanked by boxing promoter Don King—offered up a series of misleading, disjointed responses, during which he falsely claimed to have created thousands of new jobs, dismissed alleged Russian interference in the presidential election, whitewashed his sprawling financial conflicts of interest, and offered up word salad in a rambling defense of Israel.
No one reads Vanity Fair for political insight, and most of that diatribe is in the eye of the beholder. But it is ironic that after describing Trump’s press conference as “error-filled,” the magazine fails to identify a single error.
The moral of all this is that the press declared all-out war on Trump long ago, and his election has done nothing to cool the anti-Trump ardor of American reporters and editors. We are in for much more of this partisan coverage over the next four years.