President Trump isn’t buying what Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos is selling.
Sources close to the president told Axios he is “obsessed” with Amazon’s negative effect on brick and mortar retailers and incensed with coverage of him in the Bezos-owned Washington Post, to the point of considering changes to the company’s tax treatment.
“He’s obsessed with Amazon,” one source said of President Trump. “Obsessed.”
Another source explained: “He’s wondered aloud if there may be any way to go after Amazon with antitrust or competition law.”
According to the insiders, the president has expressed his disdain for Amazon while discussing tax policy and shown interest in taking action against the online retailer, but has not yet formulated a plan for doing so.
One factor in President Trump’s antipathy toward Amazon is that his wealthy friends have reportedly told him it’s hurting their businesses.
The president is also worried about mom-and-pop shops closing down, Axios wrote. Additionally, there’s Bezos’ ownership of the left-leaning Washington Post, which sources say President Trump has come to see as a political weapon against him.
For the president, Amazon has received undue favorable treatment from the US Postal Service. In private and in public, he has floated the idea of charging Amazon higher rates to deliver its packages.
The Axios report was reinforced by The Washington Post’s Josh Dawsey, who tweeted on Wednesday that he heard President Trump complain about Amazon at a recent dinner with Geraldo Rivera and his family.
He complained about Bezos and Amazon at a recent Mar-a-Lago dinner with Geraldo Rivera and his sons. Apparently it wasn't a one-off! https://t.co/adpDjQfPwm
— Josh Dawsey (@jdawsey1) March 28, 2018
The president is reportedly not concerned with Facebook, which faces public scrutiny over reports that it allowed the Trump and Obama campaigns to engage in data harvesting of users’ private information.
Vice President Mike Pence is looking at Facebook, along with Google, over fears that the tech giants have undue influence on media coverage, Axios reports.
According to sources, Pence fears that the two companies, which have pledged to combat “fake news,” are dangerously powerful.