President Donald Trump attacked Amazon on Wednesday, claiming incorrectly that he owns The Washington Post in a scheme to dodge “internet taxes.”
In fact, Amazon does not own the newspaper. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos bought it himself.
And while there is no federal “internet tax,” as Trump contends, Amazon has worked out arrangements with states to collect sales taxes on consumer online purchases – all while seeking a national solution that many Republicans have long opposed.
Trump, however, still took aim at Amazon in a tweet that sought to discredit the post’s political coverage as “fake news” his latest in a series of attacks on both the tech company and the newspaper dating back to the 2016 presidential campaign.
For trump and amazon, the timing is especially awkward: Just last week, the president huddled with Bezos and other top executives to discuss ways the White House can modernize government and aid the tech industry.
Meanwhile, Amazon is about to embark on what could be a lengthy government antitrust review of its bid to buy Whole Foods. Already looming over the roughly $ 14 billion deal is the president’s own comments: He has previously attacked Bezos and claimed the Post is a tax-dodging scheme for Amazon.
“He thinks I’ll go after him for antitrust,” Trump said at one point during his campaign. “Because he’s got a huge antitrust problem, because he’s controlling so much, Amazon is controlling so much of what they’re doing.”
Months later, Trump charged: “Believe me, if I become president, oh, they have problems, they will have such problems.