Presumptive GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump is criticizing Washington Post owner and Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos, claiming he is using the newspaper as a tool to influence corporate tax policy.
“Every hour we’re getting calls from reporters from The Washington Post asking ridiculous questions,” Trump told Fox News‘ Sean Hannity. “And I will tell you, this is owned as a toy by Jeff Bezos … 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,” he added.
Trump was responding to the Post’s associate editor, Bob Woodward, who disclosed recently that the paper had assigned nearly two dozen reporters to investigate the real estate mogul’s life.
“We’re going to do a book, we’re doing articles about every phase of his life,” Woodward told the National Association of Realtors convention. Woodward, best known as part of the investigating team that broke open the Watergate scandal that led to the resignation of President Richard Nixon, said he had begun to look into Trump’s New York real estate deals, which he described as “more complex than the CIA.”
Bezos, who bought the Post in 2013 from the Graham family, the paper’s longtime owners, has donated to both Democratic and Republican lawmakers. As per the website OpenSecrets, Bezos and his wife gave $4,800 each to Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., in 2009. In addition, the couple also gave $2.5 million to support a 2012 referendum legalizing gay marriage in Washington state, which pretty much solidifies their liberal chops.
That said, Bezos – ever a businessman – donated $2,700 this past September to Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah.
“He thinks I’ll go after him for antitrust,” Trump said in his Hannity interview. “Because he’s got a huge antitrust problem because he’s controlling so much, Amazon is controlling so much of what they are doing,” he continued.
“He’s using The Washington Post, which is peanuts, he’s using that for political purposes to save Amazon in terms of taxes and in terms of antitrust,” Trump charged.
Neither Bezos nor Amazon had any immediate comment in response to Trump’s claims, Fox News reported.
Woodward said at his event that Bezos hard urged the Post to publish as many stories as possible about all presidential candidates so that voters can’t say they were uninformed when they select the next president. What hasn’t been disclosed – yet – is whether the Post dedicated those many reporters to digging up more about Hillary Clinton’s already public email scandal and whether she may have solicited donations in exchange for access and, if she’s elected, favors, from foreign interests while serving as Obama’s secretary of state. The FBI is investigating that, as well as her handling of classified email over an unsecured personal server.
Fox News reports further:
“He said, ‘Look, the job at The Washington Post has to be tell us everything about who the eventual nominee will be in both parties,'” Woodward said. “’15-part, 16-part series, 20-part series, we want to look at every part of their lives. And we’re never going to get the whole story, of course, but we can get the best attainable.”
Trump said Bezos was using the Post “as a political instrument to try and stop anti-trust, which he thinks I believe he’s anti-trust – in other words, what he’s got is a monopoly – and he wants to make sure I don’t get in. But I’ll tell you what… What he’s doing’s wrong, and the people are being… The whole system is rigged.”
In the Hannity interview, Trump also said he believes that Clinton is being protected, ostensibly by the Obama administration, from prosecution over the email scandal.
“What can you say? Does it get any more corrupt or crooked than that?” Trump said. “And it looks like she’s being protected. Otherwise, how would they let her go down the line this far, and just before she gets this phony nomination… The Clinton Foundation obviously is looking to me like it’s got some big problems”