The day after an Axios report indicated that President Trump was “obsessed” with targeting Amazon and its CEO, Jeff Bezos, he took it upon himself to confirm the news on Twitter. “I have stated my concerns with Amazon long before the Election,” he wrote with his usual flair for odd capitalization and punctuation choices. “Unlike others, they 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!” And in total fairness to Trump, as the New York Times and others noticed, this isn’t all that new.
As the Times notes, both Amazon and Bezos are “regular Twitter targets” of the president. He “questioned whether the United States Post Office charges Amazon enough for package deliveries” back in December, and in August before that, he claimed the company “hurts taxpaying businesses.” Even so, per the Times‘ previous reporting on the matter, Amazon does pay a significant amount in taxes — $416 million back in 2016, for example. Yet facts like this (not to mention Trump’s unwillingness to share his tax returns with the public) probably won’t convince the president otherwise.
After all, as ABC News social media editor Evan McMurry was quick to point out, Trump wasn’t always so negative about Amazon in the past. He would frequently promote book sales for himself and his friends via links to the website’s landing pages for them, though that all changed in 2015 when Bezos acquired the Washington Post, another frequent target of his.
(Via New York Times)