Of President Trump’s many public grudges, few things get him more grudgey than businessmen who show evidence of success.
Few are more demonstrably successful than Jeff Bezos, the founder and CEO of Amazon. Now the owner of the Washington Post, Bezos has been subject to a number of specious Twitter-lashings by Trump. But on Wednesday, the president exacted some bottom-line revenge.
At 6:12am, after an appearance of a Washington Post reporter on CNN to discuss criticism of Trump’s response to the Charlottesville attack, Trump tweeted: “Amazon is doing great damage to tax paying retailers. Towns, cities and states throughout the U.S. are being hurt — many jobs being lost!”
Amazon shares promptly lost 1.2 percent of their value in pre-market trading — $5.7 billion wiped off the board. But the shares rebounded once the markets opened.
Trump has shadow-boxed Bezos for months, often defying fact and logic. In December, the president accused Bezos of owning the Washington Post as a tax shelter for Amazon. “The #AmazonWashingtonPost, sometimes referred to as the guardian of Amazon not paying internet taxes (which they should) is FAKE NEWS!” tweeted Trump.
The New York Times pointed out “at the moment, there is no ‘internet tax,‘ and it is not clear exactly what the president might have had in mind.” Amazon collects sales tax on transactions in all states that require it on brick-and-mortar sales.
The company recently announced that it plans to create 50,000 customer-service jobs in America.
The Washington Post has broken a number of stories related to Trump’s questionable finances and behavior, and the investigation into his campaign’s possible collusion with Russia to swing the 2016 election, with scoops coming almost daily. Among them: Debunking Trump’s claim that he made charitable donations (which won the reporter a Pulitzer Prize); the existence of the “Access Hollywood” tape; the revelation that national-security adviser Mike Flynn had lied about his contacts with the Russians; and Trump revealing classified information to Russian officials during an Oval Office visit.