Democrats grill T-Mobile CEO for Trump hotel stays

GettyImages-Sprint T mobile merger

The executive chairman of Sprint, Marcelo Claure, said, "Sprint can not do this alone and T-Mobile can not do it either".

Legere acknowledged staying at the hotel, telling the House of Representatives Judiciary Committee's antitrust subcommittee: "I'm a longtime Trump hotel stayer".

"Do you understand the optics of that, what it looks like?"

The two men talked over one another briefly, before Johnson interjected: "It doesn't pass the smell test with the American public".

"It looks like you're trying to purchase influence", Johnson added.

But Representative Hank Johnson, a Democrat from Georgia, asked instead about Legere taking a group of executives to stay at the Trump International Hotel the day after the merger was announced a year ago. After the Post's report, lawmakers such as Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., sent letters to T-Mobile inquiring about the stays. Legere subsequently deleted his mean tweets directed at Trump where he disparaged the hotel and said he would never want to return, although it's unclear when exactly they were deleted.

Legere insisted that the choice to stay at the hotel was his alone and that it reflects his consistent practices in previous years. "Trump appears to have involved himself in the AT&T-Time Warner merger", Jayapal said.

"I'm anxious about these issues because I'm focused on the interest of my constituents and what I know matters in people's lives", he said.

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Not every moment of the hearing was devoted to Legere's hotel stays.

The chief executives of T-Mobile US Inc and Sprint Corp, which are seeking to merge, head back to Capitol Hill on Tuesday to defend their planned deal.

T-Mobile will continue to support Sprint's Assurance Wireless brand "indefinitely" if its merger is approved, T-Mobile president and COO Mike Sievert has confirmed.

The T-Mobile-Sprint merger is still being reviewed by the FCC and DOJ.

The research firm says that, like T-Mobile's recent statement about keeping 5G contract pricing the same as 4G LTE pricing, it doesn't think the "in-home" move will damage the operators' efforts to obtain merger approval, but does indicate they are "still providing new chapters in their book" when they should be providing "summary arguments" for the deal. A global race is now on to launch the first mass-market 5G network that proponents promise will lead to the mainstreaming of new applications such as self-driving cars.

T-Mobile Chief Executive John Legere defended the $26 billion deal before a House subcommittee, saying the company would be better and faster at building 5G, the next generation of wireless, to compete with industry leaders AT&T Inc and Verizon Communications Inc and would create jobs while prices would not rise.

The quantity spent on the Trump Worldwide Resort accounted for 14% of the $1.4 million spent at DC motels by T-Cell throughout that interval, the company has said.

"Carnegie owned all the railroads", she told the lawmakers. "Capacity is meaningless when it comes to setting prices".

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