President Donald Trump’s repeated attacks on Amazon, which he has accused of wasting taxpayer dollars, are likely because of the unfavorable coverage of him in the Washington Post, which is owned by Jeff Bezos, according to former White House press secretary Ari Fleischer.
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“I do think most of this is about the Washington Post,” Fleischer told FOX Business’ Neil Cavuto on Tuesday. “And as a businessman, the president is doing what he always does: Finding leverage through another vehicle to put pressure on somebody or something to get a change.”
Trump accused the e-commerce behemoth of putting brick-and-mortar retailers out of business, and criticized the company it for delivering packages via the U.S. postal service. He warned that Amazon should pay those shipping costs, instead of requiring the beleaguered government entity to do so.
“I am right about Amazon costing the United States Post Office massive amounts of money for being their Delivery Boy,” he wrote on Twitter. “Amazon should pay these costs (plus) and not have them bourne by the American Taxpayer. Many billions of dollars. P.O. leaders don’t have a clue (or do they?)!”
But the president doesn’t actually have a price-point control over the post office, Fleischer said. It’s an independent body that sets its own prices, and therefore is not necessarily at the mercy of Amazon.
Fleischer expressed concern about the similarities between Trump’s attacks on Amazon and Democrats who used to rail against the oil industry and Wall Street. And if the Washington Post covered Trump in a more favorable light, he said the attacks on Amazon would likely stop.
“What makes me uncomfortable in all of this is, I’m a purist on these things,” he said. “I don’t like it when you go after a company on specificity unless there’s a case of actual, immediate wrongdoing that’s well known and wrong.”