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Trump talks up Charter's $25 billion investment and jobs

The president pats himself on the back as the cable operator commits $25 billion for broadband infrastructure and reiterates plans to hire 20,000 workers.

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Handout, Getty Images

President Donald Trump touted Charter Communications' new $25 billion investment in broadband infrastructure and its already announced plan to hire 20,000 American workers as signs that his policies are working to attract new investment and create jobs.

Charter, the second-largest cable operator in the US since its $65 billion acquisition of Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks last year, announced the $25 billion investment Friday following a meeting between the company's CEO Tom Rutledge and President Trump at the White House. Trump attributed the investment -- and Charter's promise to bring back the US call center jobs that had been shipped overseas -- to his election and policies.

Trump added that Charter's announcement followed similar announcements from other companies, like Exxon Mobil, Intel, and Boeing, that had "recently announced billions in investment and thousands of jobs coming into the United States following my election victory."

"We are really in the process of announcements and you're going to see thousands and thousands and thousands of jobs and companies and everything coming back into our country," Trump said during a press conference in the Oval Office, alongside Rutledge and Texas Gov. Greg Abbott. "They're coming in far faster than even I had projected."

Trump has repeatedly taken credit for plans that companies already had in the works before the election. For instance, Intel first announced its plan to build a new factory in 2011. Exxon's plan to invest $29 billion in Gulf Coast manufacturing, which the company says will create 45,000 jobs, got under way in 2013.

Charter's Rutledge had made promises to hire 20,000 workers in 2015 as the company was trying to get its merger with Time Warner Cable and Bright House approved by regulators.

Still, the $25 billion investment is a new. Rutledge said at the press conference that the company was willing to commit such a hefty amount due, at least in part, to the "favorable regulatory and tax policies" he expects from the Trump administration.

Trump's appointed FCC Chairman Ajit Pai has already begun rolling back Obama-era regulations, including provisions related to the controversial net neutrality regulations that subject broadband companies to more stringent regulation. And Trump has promised lowering the corporate tax rate.

Pai applauded Charter's announcement.

"Since January, we have been working to set rules of the road that encourage companies to build and upgrade broadband networks across the country," he said in a statement. "I'm pleased to see that our investment-friendly policies, along with the Administration's overall regulatory approach, are already producing results."

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