President Donald Trump resurfaced his complaints against Amazon this morning in a tweet targeting the Washington Post’s coverage of his administration.
The #AmazonWashingtonPost, sometimes referred to as the guardian of Amazon not paying internet taxes (which they should) is FAKE NEWS!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 28, 2017
The tweet follows a report by the Washington Post last night about a fake, framed Time magazine cover that hangs in Trump’s golf clubs.
It’s not clear what Trump meant by ‘internet taxes’ in this context, but Amazon collects sales tax on purchases in every state where it’s required, and the company supports national legislation that would require remote sellers to collect sales tax regardless of location.
The Washington Post is owned by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, not by Amazon.
Trump had previously targeted Amazon and Bezos on the campaign trail. “He wants political influence so that Amazon will benefit from it — that’s not right,” Trump said during one campaign appearance. “And believe me, if I become president, oh, do they have problems. They’re going to have such problems.”
The Seattle tech giant’s pending $13.8 billion acquisition of Whole Foods requires federal antitrust review and regulatory approval.
Trump said this of Bezos, Amazon and the Washington Post during an appearance on Fox News in the midst of the campaign.
I will tell you, this is owned as a toy by Jeff Bezos, who controls Amazon. Amazon is getting away with murder tax-wise. He’s using the Washington Post for power so that the politicians in Washington don’t tax Amazon like they should be taxed. … He’s worried about me — I think he said that to somebody, it was in some article — where he thinks I would go after him for antitrust, because he’s got a huge antitrust problem, because he’s controlling so much. Amazon is controlling so much of what they’re doing.
He bought this paper for practically nothing, and he’s using that as a tool for political power, against me and against other people, and I’ll tell you what, we can’t let him get away with it.
We’ve contacted Amazon for comment on the latest Trump tweet. Bezos responded to Trump’s past tweets and commentary with this tweet, which Bezos later said he regretted.
— Jeff Bezos (@JeffBezos) December 7, 2015
During an October appearance at the Vanity Fair New Establishment Summit, before Trump was elected, Bezos said that Trump’s rhetoric, in his opinion, “erodes our democracy.”
“I don’t know how dangerous he is, because the United States is remarkably robust, but it’s inappropriate for a presidential candidate. When you look at the pattern of things, he’s not just going after the media and threatening retribution for those who scrutinize him. It’s also him saying he may not give a graceful concession speech if he loses the election. That erodes our democracy around the edges. These aren’t acceptable behaviors, in my opinion.”
Last week, Bezos sat one seat away from Trump at a White House meeting of top tech leaders.