Donald Trump seems to love watching television—even though he hates what he watches—and, of course, he loves getting upset on Twitter about what he watches. So maybe it shouldn't be surprising that he tweeted insults about a local union boss in Indianapolis, Indiana only 20 minutes after the man called out the president-elect on CNN for lying. Half an hour later, the man started getting threatening phone calls.
According to NBC News, Chuck Jones is the president of United Steelworkers Local 1999, which represents workers from Carrier Corp. and Rexnord Corp., two companies with plans to close plants in Indianapolis and move those jobs to Mexico. Trump has previously tweeted about Carrier and Rexnord and promised a "Great deal for workers!" saying he will "keep our companies and jobs in the U.S."
After meeting with Carrier in Indianapolis, Trump claimed he helped save 1,100 jobs that would have otherwise gone to Mexico. That is not true. The deal, which hooks Carrier up with $7 million in tax cuts and incentives over a decade, will actually only keep about 800 jobs in America. According to CNN, Trump counted an additional 300 jobs at a different facility in Indianapolis—jobs which they never planned on moving, as Carrier has admitted.
On top of that, Carrier is still moving about 550 jobs to Mexico sometime in 2017, and the Indianapolis plant owned by Rexnord, which has about 350 workers, is also scheduled to move to Mexico.
So considering it's Jones' job to represent those workers, he called Trump out. "Trump said no companies would be allowed to go to Mexico," Jones told CNN. "There are more than 300 people over there at Rexnord. He needs to deliver for them as well."
"He's lying his ass off," Jones said regarding Trump's boasts about saving 1,100 jobs. "The numbers prove he's lying his ass off. It's a damn shame when you come in and make a false statements like that."
Trump did not take the criticism well. The president-elect called out the union boss by name on Twitter and blamed him as the reason "companies flee [the] country!"
Surprisingly, just months ago, Trump's Vice President Mike Pence praised Jones as "hardworking" in his "efforts to save Carrier jobs."
United Steelworkers fired back that Jones is "a hero not a scapegoat," and also defended their dues.
After Trump's tweet, Jones went back on CNN to discuss it, which he described as "pretty low down" and not "very damn nice." Nonetheless, Jones believes Trump's tweet "must mean I'm doing a good job."
Since the tweet, "I'm getting threats and everything else from some of his supporters," Jones told NBC News. "I'm getting them all day long—now they're kicked up a notch." People are "calling me names, wanting to know if I have children," Jones told the Indianapolis Star. Self-identified Trump supporters told him, "I better watch out for myself, and they know what kind of car I drive, that I better watch out for my kids."
Twitter pointed out how troubling Trump's tweets are:
It's difficult to prove that Trump's tweets were a direct response to the CNN interview—Jones has been calling out Trump for days now—but there does seem to be some evidence. Trump, who has a long history of watching and commenting on CNN, posted the insults only about 20 minutes after the interview, as Erin Burnett herself noted.
It's pretty scary that our president-elect is individually calling out his critics, leading to threats being made against them.