New England Patriots Chairman and CEO Robert Kraft called President Donald Trump on Thursday night to praise the $1.5 trillion Republican-led tax overhaul.
Trump told reporters during the signing of the bill Friday that he received a call from his "friend" Kraft telling him the bill was "incredible."
"He owns the New England Patriots, but he’s in the paper business too. And he said based on this tax bill that he just wanted to let me know that he’s going to a buy a big plant in the great state of North Carolina and he’s going to build a tremendous paper mill there or paper products plant," Trump said.
Kraft has been friends with Trump for years, and gave the president a customized Patriots Super Bowl LI ring following the team's visit to the White House in April.
A spokeman for the Kraft issued a statement confirming that he called Trump on Thursday.
"Mr. Kraft has long been an advocate for tax reform that would be a catalyst for economic growth and job creation," the statement said. "Yesterday, he had a private conversation with the President to express his support for the tax bill that was just signed, as he believes it will spur significant incremental capital investment that will drive economic growth and most importantly create real wage increases for working Americans across the country."
The statement went on to say that Kraft is "always exploring opportunities locally, nationally and internationally." The Kraft Group does business in nearly 100 countries and owns manufacturing facilities in more than a dozen states, including North Carolina.
Kraft's statement also pointed out that his personal taxes will be increasing as a result of the tax overhaul bill.
Starting next year, the new tax law will give big cuts to corporations and wealthy Americans and more modest reductions to other families. The tax law is the largest since 1986, but far from the biggest in American history, as the president has claimed.
The first major overhaul of the nation's tax laws since 1986 could add $1.5 trillion to the national debt over the next decade, according to the Congressional Budget Office.
Republican leaders have said they're willing to take that step in pursuit of a boost to the economy. But some in the GOP worry their party could face a political backlash without an aggressive public relations tour.