Billionaire presidential candidate Donald Trump took aim once again at Amazon billionaire Jeff Bezos as he revoked the campaign credentials for the newspaper Bezos owns, The Washington Post.
Today the presumptive GOP nominee added the Post to a list of banned media outlets that also includes BuzzFeed, The Daily Beast, The Des Moines Register, The Huffington Post, the New Hampshire Union Leader, The Huffington Post, Politico, Univision and others. Reporters from banned outlets have been denied credentials to cover Trump’s campaign events.
The reason for today’s ban was the headline on a Post story reporting Trump’s criticism of President Barack Obama over his response to this weekend’s mass shooting at a nightclub in Orlando, Fla.
The original headline read “Donald Trump Suggests President Obama Was Involved With Orlando shooting.” That headline was changed to “Donald Trump Seems to Connect President Obama to Orlando Shooting,” but not before Trump lowered the boom on Facebook:
Later, the Trump campaign released a statement that referred obliquely to Bezos:
“The Washington Post unfortunately covers Mr. Trump very inaccurately. Today’s headline, ‘Donald Trump Suggests President Obama Was Involved With Orlando Shooting’ is a perfect example. We no longer feel compelled to work with a publication which has put its need for ‘clicks’ above journalistic integrity.
“They have no journalistic integrity and write falsely about Mr. Trump. Mr. Trump does not mind a bad story, but it has to be honest. The fact is, The Washington Post is being used by the owners of Amazon as their political lobbyist so that they don’t have to pay taxes and don’t get sued for monopolistic tendencies that have led to the destruction of department stores and the retail industry.”
Trump has repeatedly criticized Bezos’ ownership of the Post:
- In December, Trump complained that Bezos was somehow using the Post “to screw public on low taxation of Amazon.”
- In February, Trump said Bezos “wants political influence so that Amazon will benefit from it — that’s not right. And believe me, if I become president, oh, do they have problems.”
- In May, Trump said Bezos was “getting away with murder tax-wise.”
It’s not exactly clear how Trump thinks the Post is helping Amazon. Bezos tends to downplay Trump’s attacks. After Trump’s December volley, for example, Bezos joked on Twitter that he would “reserve him a seat on the Blue Origin rocket,” another venture that the Amazon founder is supporting with his private fortune. Last month, Bezos said Trump’s remarks were “not an appropriate way for a presidential candidate to behave.”
Bezos did not immediately comment on today’s goings-on. Instead, Post executive editor Marty Baron tweeted a statement saying the newspaper would continue covering the Trump campaign, with or without credentials. “We’re proud of our coverage, and we’re going to keep at it,” he said.