US & Canada

Donald Trump attacks union leader who called him a liar

Bernie Sanders and Chuck Jones Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Chuck Jones (right) met Senator Bernie Sanders earlier in the year

Donald Trump has blasted a union leader who accused him of lying about his deal to stop an air conditioning maker from moving jobs to Mexico.

The US president-elect said Chuck Jones had done a "terrible job" for workers at Carrier, moments after Mr Jones had criticised Mr Trump on CNN.

Mr Trump had wrongly claimed 1,100 jobs in Indiana were saved, said Mr Jones.

Earlier in the week Mr Trump attacked Boeing, hours after its boss criticised his trade policy, but he denied a link.

Shortly after Mr Trump's tweet attacking Mr Jones on Wednesday night, the union leader started receiving phone calls threatening his children, he said.

"Nothing that says they're gonna kill me, but, you know, you better keep your eye on your kids," said Mr Jones.

Keeping jobs from migrating to lower-wage countries was a central plank of Mr Trump's successful election campaign.

Image copyright AP
Image caption Donald Trump and Mike Pence visited Carrier to reveal the good news

And he claimed a victory last week when he struck a deal with Carrier's parent company, granting them $7m in tax cuts and incentives over 10 years.

In the CNN interview that preceded the enraged tweet by the president-elect, Mr Jones disputed Mr Trump's claim on the job figures because 550 jobs were still going overseas.

Using stronger language when speaking to the Washington Post earlier this week, Mr Jones said the billionaire businessman had "lied his ass off".

On Thursday morning, the union boss admitted his choice of words was unwise but he stood by his accusation.

"Trump didn't tell the truth and I called him out," he said, saying the president-elect "overreacted".

He said that while the union was grateful to have 730 of its members keeping their jobs, Mr Trump had raised false hopes for hundreds of others when he wrongly claimed 1,100 jobs were not moving abroad.

Mr Trump's tweet sparked a back and forth on Twitter with the union, which sprang to Mr Jones's defence by saying he worked tirelessly to save "all jobs".

Image copyright Twitter

Mr Trump responded by tweeting that the union was to blame for jobs going abroad and it should reduce its dues.

Image copyright Twitter

The union fired back by saying its dues helped the union save jobs, adding the hashtag #imwithchuck

Image copyright Twitter

The spat is the second time this week that the president-elect has attacked an organisation that has criticised him.

On Tuesday, he threatened to cancel a huge government contract with Boeing after the chief executive made pro-trade remarks that were reported in the Chicago Tribune.

But Mr Trump said he had not seen the article in question.

The Republican president-to-be has been assembling his administration team in preparation for assuming office on 20 January.

On Wednesday there were five new additions:

  • Fast-food executive Andy Puzder has reportedly been named the Secretary of Labor
  • Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt is tipped to head the Environment Protection Agency
  • Iowa Governor Terry Branstad has been asked to be US ambassador to China
  • Professional wrestling magnate Linda McMahon is expected to head the Small Business Administration
  • Retired Marine General John Kelly has been reportedly asked to lead the Department of Homeland Security

Trump picks border hawk for security job

Trump picks climate sceptic Pruitt

'Old friend of China' to be US envoy

The people around Donald Trump


Being on the receiving end of Trump tweets

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Media captionMegyn Kelly: Being a 'woman of power' fuelled Trump backlash