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Donald Trump to write own inaugural address inspired by Reagan and JFK

President-elect Donald Trump speaks to reporters at Mar-a-Lago, Wednesday, Dec 28 2016, in Palm Beach, Florida. Picture by Evan Vucci, Associated Press
Vivian Salama and Josh Boak

Donald Trump has said he plans to write his own inaugural address and is drawing inspiration from former US presidents Ronald Reagan and John F Kennedy.

The billionaire property tycoon, who will become president on January 20, has said that Mr Reagan had "incredible style" and also noted the upcoming 100th anniversary of Mr Kennedy's birth, according to a person who has spoken with the leader-in-waiting at his Mar-a-Lago club in Florida.

Mr Trump is spending the Christmas and New Year holiday at the club but is also focusing on veterans' health issues and has told visitors he plans to make that a priority in his administration, the source said.

The announcement came during a whirlwind day in which Mr Trump accused US president Barack Obama of throwing up "inflammatory" roadblocks during the transition of power and said his administration was treating Israel with "total disdain".

"Doing my best to disregard the many inflammatory President O statements and roadblocks," Mr Trump tweeted on Wednesday. "Thought it was going to be a smooth transition - NOT!"

However, when journalists at the Mar-a-Lago resort asked him about the tweet and how he thought the transition was going, he said: "I think very, very smoothly. It's very good. You don't think so?"

Later Mr Trump told reporters he had spoken by phone with Mr Obama and said the two "had a very nice conversation".

White House spokesman Eric Schultz said Mr Obama phoned Mr Trump.

"Today's call, like the others since the election, was positive and focused on continuing a smooth and effective transition," he said.

"The president and president-elect committed to staying in touch over the next several weeks."

Mr Trump also took direct issue with the Obama administration's decision to let a United Nations Security Council resolution critical of Israel pass.

"We cannot continue to let Israel be treated with such total disdain and disrespect," he said in a two-part tweet.

"They used to have a great friend in the US, but ... not anymore. The beginning of the end was the horrible Iran deal, and now this (UN)! Stay strong Israel, January 20th is fast approaching!"

The president-elect's complaints about the treatment of Israel came a few hours before John Kerry made his final speech about Middle East peace as secretary of state.

Mr Kerry criticised Israel for settlement-building and accused prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu of dragging Israel away from democracy.

Later Mr Trump appeared yet again at on the steps of the club, this time alongside boxing entrepreneur Don King, who carried about a dozen flags, including those of the US and Israel; wore two big diamond necklaces, one of the Star of David and one of the American flag; and sported a large pin featuring a picture of Mr Trump.

With Mr King by his side, Mr Trump said he and Mr Obama had "a very, very good talk", dismissing days of tense remarks by the outgoing and incoming presidents about who would win if they were to hypothetically run against each other.

"We talked about it and smiled about it and nobody is ever going to know because we are never going to be going against each other," Mr Trump said.

Mr Trump also touted plans by a Japanese mogul to bring 8,000 jobs to the United States - possibly the first of 50,000 tech billionaire Masayoshi Son promised to create after meeting the president-elect earlier this month.

In the grand scheme of the economy, the jobs announcement is unlikely to have a major impact, but it is another example of how Mr Trump is trying to stoke voters' belief that he is actively fighting for their well-being.

Mr Son is the founder and chief executive of SoftBank, one of Japan's largest technology outfits. He owns the US mobile carrier Sprint, which Mr Trump said would be moving 5,000 jobs "back" to the United States. Mr Son also controls OneWeb, which Mr Trump said would employ 3,000 workers.

It was unclear whether Mr Trump was talking about the December 6 commitment by Mr Son to invest 50 billion dollars (£41bn) in the United States and create 50,000 jobs.

Mr Trump said the addition of 8,000 jobs was "because of what's happening and the spirit and the hope".

The US job market has been robust for much of 2016. Employers have added more than 2.2 million jobs over the past 12 months - a sign of economic health that pre-dates Mr Trump's presidential victory.

Sprint has struggled since its 2013 acquisition by SoftBank. The carrier shed about 9,000 workers between 2012 and 2016, reducing its staff to 30,000, according to annual reports.

Sprint's attempt to join with rival T-Mobile failed in 2014 after regulators objected to combining two of the four largest mobile telecom companies in the United States. Analysts say a Trump administration would be more likely to approve telecom mergers, including a deal between Sprint and T-Mobile.

Sprint chief executive Marcelo Claure said the company was "excited" to work with Mr Trump.

"We believe it is critical for business and government to partner together to create more job opportunities in the US and ensure prosperity for all Americans," he said.

The Sprint jobs announcement came after tensions rose and fell on Wednesday between Mr Trump and Mr Obama. Mr Trump has made it clear that it did not sit well with him when Mr Obama recently boasted that he would have won the election if he had been running.


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