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During a Thursday interview on Fox News, Trump said that Bezos is “worried about me” because “he thinks I would go after him for antitrust because he’s got a huge antitrust problem. Amazon is controlling so much of what they’re doing … What he’s got is a monopoly, and he wants to make sure I don’t get in.”
If Trump believes Amazon is a monopoly, then a Trump administration may encourage investigations and, potentially, enforcement against the online retail giant. It’s being interpreted as a thinly veiled threat against the owner of a newspaper that often writes critically about Trump.
“[The Washington Post] is owned as a toy by Jeff Bezos who controls Amazon,” Trump said. “Amazon is getting away with murder tax-wise. He’s using the Washington Post for power so that the politicians in Washington don’t tax Amazon like they should be taxed.”
In 2015, Amazon paid $273 million in income taxes, the company’s annual report noted.
It’s somewhat odd for Trump to be criticizing Bezos for his tax behavior considering Trump has not released his own tax returns, says his tax rate none of the business of voters, and says he fights to keep his own tax rate as low as possible.
The Trump-Bezos feud extends back at least to 2015, but the latest spat comes just days after Post reporters revealed they had a 20-person team investigating Trump’s past. On Friday, the newspaper revealed a 1991 interview in which Trump “masqueraded as [his] publicist to brag about himself.” Trump denied the report’s accuracy.
Bezos, for his part, hasn’t stayed entirely quiet.
Patrick Howell O'Neill is a notable cybersecurity reporter whose work has focused on the dark net, national security, and law enforcement. A former senior writer at the Daily Dot, O'Neill joined CyberScoop in October 2016. I am a cybersecurity journalist at CyberScoop. I cover the security industry, national security and law enforcement.