President Trump launched a string of Twitter attacks on Amazon.com Inc. over the weekend and is reportedly looking for ways to target the monster e-commerce company.
Amazon’s stock sank on Thursday after the president tweeted that “they pay little or 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!”
Trump’s beef with Amazon is exacerbated by the fact that chief executive Jeff Bezos also owns The Washington Post, which has provoked Trump by its negative coverage of him.
“He’s off the hook on this. It’s war,” a White House source told Vanity Fair’s Gabriel Sherman.
“He gets obsessed with something, and now he’s obsessed with Bezos,” another source said. “Trump is like, how can I f*ck with him?”
Trump said before the Easter weekend that the Post Office loses $1.50 on average for each package it delivers for Amazon, a statistic that has been challenged by analysts. The company also pays the sales tax in 45 states.
By Monday Amazon was still on the president’s mind, and stock dipped again 5 percent.
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!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 2, 2018
Trump plans to keep attacking Amazon on Twitter but is also considering asking the Post Office to raise Amazon’s shipping costs. Former economic adviser Gary Cohn had recommended against such a move and told the president that the Post Office actually makes money from Amazon.
Current advisers are pushing Trump to cancel Amazon Web Services’ pending $10 billion contract with the Pentagon. Republican attorney generals could also investigate Amazon’s business practices.
The “fake Washington Post” is used as a “lobbyist” and should register as one, Trump said.
“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,” a Republican source said to Vanity Fair.
Washington Post executive editor Martin Baron told the New York Times on Monday that Trump’s idea that Bezos chooses the editorial direction of the paper is “completely made up.”
The Post is owned independently by Bezos, not by Amazon, although Trump has called it the “Amazon Washington Post.”