President Donald Trump announced on Friday that Charter Communications has decided to invest $25 billion and hire 20,000 workers in the U.S. over the next four years — a decision that had been made almost a year ago before the current occupant of the White House even won his party's nomination.
"I am thrilled to announced that Charter Communications has just committed to investing $25 billion here in the United States and has committed further to hiring 20,000 American workers over the next four years," Trump boasted on Friday.
To emphasize the size of Charter Communications' commitment, Trump joking asked if there was a typo after he read the projected figures.
"Twenty-five billion — with a B. $25 billion. You sure that's right?" Trump jokingly asked, turning to everyone standing behind him. "Not with an M? With a B?"
There was one problem with Trump's basking in this announcement.
Charter had committed to hire 20,000 more Americans as early as June 2015, when the company revealed its plans to acquire Time Warner Cable. The Federal Communications Commission explicitly highlighted this promise when it approved the merger (creating the a Charter structure) in May 2016.
“The Applicants commit to increase customer care through domestic investment and in-sourced jobs, and claim that New Charter would bring thousands of overseas Time Warner Cable jobs back to the United States,” the FCC wrote at the time.
On Friday in the Oval Office, Trump's remarks seemed to imply that this deal happened only because he won the election.
"Charter's announcement follows a number of American businesses, from Exxon to Intel to Lockheed to Boeing to many others that have recently announced billions of dollars of investments and thousands of jobs coming into the United States following my election victory," Trump said.