It’s on! After President Trump took aim at The Washington Post and Amazon, the newspaper struck back by accusing the president of lying.
Trump started it all by tweeting earlier today that “it is reported that the U.S. Post Office will lose $1.50 on average for each package it delivers for Amazon. That amounts to Billions of Dollars.” He then quoted a “failing N.Y. Times” report saying that “the size of the company’s lobbying staff has ballooned.”
True, he argued, but that “ballooning” does “not include the Fake Washington Post, which is used as a ‘lobbyist’ and should so REGISTER.”
It goes without saying that the Washington Post isn’t amused. In response to the president’s accusations, the newspaper says that Trump’s claim about it serving as Amazon’s lobbyist is “false” and that he’s also spreading fake news about Amazon’s contracts with the U.S. Postal Service, which are actually “profitable for the agency.”
“The Post operates independently of Amazon, though the news organization is personally owned by Jeffrey P. Bezos, the founder and chief executive of Amazon,” the WaPo explains. As for taxes:
In fact, Amazon does collect taxes on products it sells to customers in the 45 states that have a sales tax, although items sold by third-party vendors may have different arrangements.
Sadly for Amazon, however, Trump’s attacks are clearly having an effect. Although it has widely been reported that the administration does not plan to take action against the company, its shares fell more than four percent Wednesday after Trump first attacked it. The shares then continued to fall on Thursday. Although the shares recovered at the closing of the markets, very real damage had already been done.
Which brings us to an important point: it’s fine for Trump to play his populist card, but this obsession with one of America’s most successful companies of the last century is becoming increasingly problematic. As Ian Bremmer rightfully tweeted on Friday:
Xi is doing everything possible to promote China’s leading technology firms.
Trump is attacking Amazon on twitter.
— ian bremmer (@ianbremmer) March 30, 2018