Amazon founder Jeff Bezos told Jeff Carney, the company's senior vice president of Global Corporate Affairs, in a 2015 email that then-presidential candidate Donald Trump "would be a scary prez," a new book reveals.
The email came after the candidate-turned-president posted various attacks against Amazon on Twitter, accusing Bezos of avoiding taxes and buying The Washington Post "for purposes of keeping his taxes down," as Trump wrote in a 2015 tweet highlighted in the new book "Amazon Unbound" by author Brad Stone released Tuesday.
"Trump just trash talked Amazon/me/WaPo," Bezos wrote in a 2015 email to Carney. "Feel like I should have a witty retort. Don’t want to let it go past. Useful opportunity (patriotic duty) to do my part to deflate this guy who would be a scary prez. I’m an inexperienced trash talker but I’m willing to learn. :) Ideas?"
Carney responded by advising the former Amazon CEO to lay low.
"We’ve been discussing and decided to make sure reporters know WaPo and Amazon are not connected," Carney replied. "He’s playing to his base of disaffected voters by bashing the press and big business in one tweet. For him politically, it doesn’t matter that he’s got his facts all wrong. Much as I’d love to have you slap him down, I personally think you’d be helping him by trash talking him back. Every fight he gets into gives his campaign more energy."
Bezos ultimately decided not to take the advice and asked Carney to "come up with some good options just so we can look at the specifics."
"Finally trashed by @realDonaldTrump. Will reserve him a seat on the Blue Origin Rocket. #sendDonaldtospace," the Amazon founder wrote in a 2015 tweet, referencing his space exploration company.
Bezos also asked Amazon's voice assistant, Alexa, "to play videos that ridiculed" then-candidate Trump "on several occasions," Stone writes in the book, citing executives who witnessed those instances.