President Trump took to Twitter late Monday to call out The Washington Post and ask if the paper is being used as a ‘lobbyist weapon’ for internet giant Amazon.
“Is Fake News Washington Post being used as a lobbyist weapon against Congress to keep Politicians from looking into Amazon no-tax monopoly?” Trump tweeted.
Billionaire Jeff Bezos owns the paper and is the founder of Amazon.
Amazon.com collects state sales taxes in all 45 states with a sales tax and the District of Columbia, according to their website. State governments have sought to capture sales taxes lost to internet retailers, though they have struggled with a 1992 Supreme Court ruling that retailers must have a physical presence in a state before officials can make them collect sales tax.
Trump was apparently upset with the paper’s report on Syria from last week on the phasing out of an Obama Administration program in which the CIA covertly armed and trained moderate rebels battling Assad forces in the country’s civil war. Trump scrapped the program nearly a month ago after he met with advisers ahead of a July 7 meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
This is not the first time that Trump has taken aim at the website’s use of the tax system. In June, Trump took to Twitter and blasted the “#AmazonWashingtonPost, sometimes referred to as the guardian of Amazon not paying internet takes (which they should).”
Both Amazon and The Post, in June, did not respond to Trump’s tweet.
Kim Ruebin, a senior fellow in the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center, told CBS’ MoneyWatch at the time, “They’re (Amazon) being good citizens, and they’re collecting the taxes and remitting it. … If you want more and more of your deliveries to be done in a day or two, you actually need warehouses and physical presence in places to get your goods to other places.”
Bezos was one of a number of technology executives who visited the White House recently for a strategy session on modernizing government.
In 2015, he wrote that Bezos bought the Post “for purposes of keeping taxes down at his no profit company, @amazon.” He added that “If @amazon ever had to pay fair taxes, its stock would crash and it would crumble like a paper bag. The @washingtonpost scam is saving it!”