As Congress prepares to hold hearings on the role social media giant Facebook played in the 2016 election, on the other end of Capitol Hill, President Trump cannot stop thinking about Amazon and its CEO, Jeff Bezos.
According to a new report from Axios, Trump remains obsessed with trying to change Amazon’s tax status or even attempt to break them up using federal antitrust law:
“Trump has talked about changing Amazon’s tax treatment because he’s worried about mom-and-pop retailers being put out of business.
“He’s wondered aloud if there may be any way to go after Amazon with antitrust or competition law.”
Adding to Trump’s animus towards Amazon is the fact that Bezos also owns The Washington Post, which the president feels Bezos uses to launch attacks against him and the administration.
The president also thinks that Amazon has been bad for malls and brick-and-mortar stores, many of which are built or owned by the president’s friends in the real estate world.
Oddly, Trump continually rails against Amazon for being a financial drain on the U.S. Postal Service, even though he couldn’t be further from the truth in that assumption. One source noted:
“The whole post office thing, that’s very much a perception he has. It’s been explained to him in multiple meetings that his perception is inaccurate and that the post office actually makes a ton of money from Amazon.”
How much of a boon for the post office has Amazon been? So much so that it actually added delivery on Sunday in some cities because Amazon made it financially beneficial.
Facebook, on the other hand, is viewed favorably by the president. Kim Hart of Axios notes:
“Trump told Axios last year he doesn’t mind Facebook because it helps him reach his audience. He’s an old-school businessman who sees the world in terms of tangible assets: real estate, physical mail delivery, Main Street, grocery stores. It reminds me of the story Jim wrote a while back about Trump’s fixation with 1950s life. Amazon takes direct aim at some of the core components of mid-century business.”
“Though Pence isn’t yet pushing internally for any specific regulations, he argues these companies are dangerously powerful.
“The V.P. worries about their influence on media coverage, as well as their control of the advertising industry and users’ personal info.
“When private discussions have turned to the idea of busting Facebook and Google, Pence has listened with keen interest and is open to the suggestion that these two companies need shaking up.”
For now, Facebook may be under the microscope, but Trump seems determined to get his pound of flesh from Amazon, too.
Featured Image Via CNN Screengrab