Trump Moves Up Tax Bill Signing to Satisfy TV Networks

BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images

Trump thanked Sinclair Broadcast Group and Comcast for giving out bonuses to employees, even though he said NBC was "not so nice" to him.

President Donald Trump said that he moved up his planned signing of the tax reform bill from Jan. 7 or 8 to Friday to satisfy the television networks, who were questioning his timing.

"Every one of the networks was saying, 'Will he keep his promise? Will he sign it before Christmas?'" Trump said in the Oval Office on Friday. "So, I immediately called, I said, 'Let's get it ready.'"

Later in his comments, he told the journalists in the room: "I didn't want you to say that I wasn't keeping my promise. I'm keeping my promise, I'm signing it before Christmas. So, we did a rush job today."

Trump also personally thanked the companies that have handed out bonuses to employees, supposedly in response to the passage of the tax reform bill in Congress. He also got in a critique of Comcast-owned NBC.

"I want to thank AT&T, who actually was the first out of the box," he said on Friday. "And Boeing and Sinclair and Wells Fargo and Comcast, even though they own NBC, which is not so nice to the presidency or the president."

Comcast announced on Thursday that it would give $1,000 bonuses to more than 100,000 employees, and will spend more than $50 billion over the next five years on infrastructure. Sinclair also announced that almost 9,000 employees will receive a $1,000 bonus.

In a memo, Sinclair thanked Congress and the president for the tax bill and said it is "excited about the benefits it will provide for our country's economy, our company, the Sinclair Broadcast Group, and our employees."

Trump closed the event by handing out official signing pens to members of the media. "Oh, look at these camera guys," he said.