Yesterday, Donald Trump walked to the lobby of his building alongside Japanese mogul Masayoshi Son, where he announced that Son was investing $50 billion dollars in the United States, which he says will provide for 50,000 jobs.
As one might expect, there's more to the story -- and one big TrumpWhopper[tm] that has pretty much been overlooked.
For starters, it turns out that this is a deal that Trump himself did not put together, to bring 50,000 new jobs to the country, as he made it appear. As the Wall Street Journal discussed, this is a deal that Son first began working on back in October. Well before Trump was the President-Elect, when it had absolutely nothing to do with him.
Additionally, there's no evidence given to show that 50,000 jobs will actually be created. Certainly jobs will be -- maybe even more. Or maybe less. Given Trump's record for accuracy and exaggeration, it's fair to remain skeptical what the actual total will end up being. No doubt there will be a good number of jobs coming from this. But I wouldn't start passing around any figures or take part in any office pool just yet.
Also, given that this is Trump we're talking about, it's necessary to watch both hands. So, it's very important to know that Son is the founder and chief executive of Softbank, which owns T-Mobile. And as it happens (another phrase to get used to) T-Mobile is trying to buy Sprint -- but the effort has been blocked thus far by the Obama Administration. One wonders if the condition causing the deal not be to approved will be overlooked and the merger allowed to take place after Trump takes office. Okay, you shouldn't have to wonder very hard.
Moreover, know too that no papers were signed for this deal, as far as has been reported. This isn't even really a deal at all, or an agreement. It's just a "pledge." Maybe it's a very good pledge that will be honored. But it nonetheless remains a pledge. So, keep those "50,000 jobs" on hold, as well.
All that aside, though -- and I know it's a lot to put aside, but get used to it, as well... -- that brings us to the whopper that has largely gone without mention.
As noted, this was a transaction, as the Wall Street Journal has discussed, that actually began back in October, well-before Trump was elected. And it was officially announced yesterday, on December 6 -- when Barack Obama is still the actual, sitting, legal, official, very real President of the United States. So...why on earth is Donald Trump, a private citizen, taking credit for an international business agreement that doesn't even remotely fall under his authority???!! Why is this being announced from the Trump Tower lobby, not the White House press room??
And as much to the point (since mega-egomaniacal and sociopathic, of course, leap to mind as an answer to the first part...), there has been virtually not a peep about that from the media, who has largely reported it in headlines as a deal coming from Trump. Springing to $50 billion life from nothing in a matter of weeks, supposedly put together magically by a private citizen.
While it would be nice for someone in the Obama Administration to clarify the issue and perhaps even express outrage, even if just off-the-record to reporters, that doesn't seem to be the way they operate. Though it might be nice, perhaps, if they was. Then again, maybe they are dropping some sharply pointed words of annoyance off-the-record, and perhaps we'll hear more about that in coming days.
I'm not holding my breath on it. Then again, the early "acclaim" that Trump tried to falsely grab from the Carrier deal has turned-around, and the truth made known, so one can hope so here, too. Though I'm sure at this point, Trump supporters are long on their way to believing this latest falsehood. It's Standard Operating Procedure for them now, after all.
(Just last night, for one instance, I received a Twitter response for a Trumpet insisting that it wasn't Trump at all making the announcement, but rather Mr. Son. Never mind that this is egregiously untrue and there is actual videotape to show it clearly. But to even believe that means you truly think the President-Elect, soon to be the most powerful man in the world -- God help us -- was too weak, incompetent or thoughtless to stop a businessman right by his side from going out the front entrance, rather than taking the private back way, and tell him not to say anything right here, but wait for the real President of the United States. God help us, again.)
God help us -- there, that's another phrase to get used to.