"I watched the news this morning and they were all saying, will he keep his promise, will he sign it by Christmas?"
He walked through various provisions of the bill, which he touted as "a bill for the middle class and a bill for jobs", adding that "corporations are literally going wild".
For months Trump has refused to recognize larger tax cuts in history, of which there have been many, or to grant that other presidents have enacted big tax cuts since Ronald Reagan in the 1980s.
"I called downstairs and said, 'We have to get it ready now, ' " Trump said.
Then, with no legislators on hand, he offered to distribute pens from his signing event to reporters assembled in the Oval Office. But some in the GOP worry their party could face a political backlash without an aggressive public relations tour.
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"Everything in here is really tremendous things for businesses, for people, for the middle class, for workers".
Supporters of the plan say the corporate tax cuts within the plan would bring corporations back to the US, leading to job creation and wage growth. Politically, it marks the Republicans' first major legislative accomplishment of Trump's presidency. Trump also ended the year with his sights still trained on his treatment by the press, tweeting that the mainstream media "NEVER talk about our accomplishments in the end of year reviews".
Trump signed the bill shortly before departing for his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, pulling forward a formal signing initially planned for January.
Trump also praised the work of Republican lawmakers who worked on the bill, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and House Speaker Paul Ryan, R- Wis., none of whom were present.
"I said that the bill would be on my desk before Christmas", Trump said, as a Marine helicopter whirred outside, waiting to ferry him to Air Force One.