Unless you’ve been living under a rock the last week (sounds pretty nice, actually), you’ve no doubt heard about Trump’s apparently still-escalating, and so far totally one-sided, war with Amazon. Well, according to a recent report from Vanity Fair, Trump’s real target is actually the Amazon-owned Washington Post.
“Trump has ripped into Amazon in recent days, claiming in a series of tweets that Jeff Bezos’s tech giant benefits from billions in subsidies from the U.S. Post office while skirting sales taxes,” claims that happen to be patently untrue (and thus very on-brand for the Cheeto in Chief).
“Unlike others, [Amazon] pay little or no taxes to state & local governments, use our Postal System as their Delivery Boy (causing tremendous loss to the U.S.), and are putting many thousands of retailers out of business!” he tweeted over the weekend.
After he posted the above, Trump learned that Amazon pays state sales taxes, the same bulk postage rate as other corporations, and that the USPS is, in fact, a delivery service, so he apologized for the error and also for making the spat so publi… Yeah, no, that definitely did not happen.
What did happen is that he doubled down, tweeting yesterday, “Only fools, or worse, are saying that our money losing Post Office makes money with Amazon. THEY LOSE A FORTUNE, and this will be changed. Also, our fully tax paying retailers are closing stores all over the country . . . not a level playing field!”
While Amazon has been the focus of Trump’s tweets, insiders are speculating that Trump’s true motivator is his dislike of the Washington Post, which is owned by Amazon C.E.O., Jeff Bezos. “Trump doesn’t like The New York Times, but he reveres it because it’s his hometown paper. The Washington Post, he has zero respect for… [and] while the Post says that Bezos has no involvement in newsroom decisions, Trump has told advisers he believes Bezos uses the paper as a political weapon.”
And so, Trump is fighting back using his weapon of twice, Twitter. And it’s having an effect: Amazon’s stock was down five percent yesterday, and (as of this writing) is down again today.
Consider that for a second: a ‘pro-business’ American president is actively trying to torpedo the value of an American company for purely personal reasons. And sure, Amazon and Jeff Bezos aren’t exactly American heroes, but they’re not doing anything illegal – something that definitely cannot be said for Trump.
You can read more about it at Vanity Fair.