Donald Trump on Thursday night lashed out at Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, arguing that Bezos bought the Washington Post to gain political power and keep Trump from cracking down on Amazon as president.
“Every hour we’re getting calls from reporters from The Washington Post asking ridiculous questions and I will tell you, this is owned as a toy by Jeff Bezos, who controls Amazon. 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,” Trump said when Fox News’ Sean Hannity asked about a comment from Bob Woodward that the Post had assigned 20 reporters to cover Trump.
“He’s worried about me,” Trump added. “He thinks I would go after him for antitrust because he’s got a huge antitrust problem because he’s controlling so much.”
Trump said that Bezos bought the Washington Post “for practically nothing and he’s using that as a tool for political power against me and against other people and I’ll tell you what, we can’t let him get away with it.”
The presumptive Republican presidential nominee said that Bezos wants to make sure that Trump doesn’t win office.
“The whole system is rigged,” Trump told Hannity. “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.”
Martin Baron, the Washington Post’s executive editor, on Friday morning denied that the newsroom takes direction from Bezos.
“As the individual who oversees The Washington Post’s news staff, I can say categorically that I have received no instructions from Jeff Bezos regarding our coverage of the presidential campaign — or, for that matter, any other subject,” he told Poynter.
During his appearance on Fox News, Trump also bashed the Washington Post’s political coverage and the paper’s plans to write a book about him.
“I just heard, they’re taking these really bad stories —I mean they’re wrong, I wouldn’t even say bad, they’re wrong and in many cases they have no proper information — and they’re putting them together, they’re slopping them together,” Trump said. “They’re gonna do a book. And the book is going to be all false stuff because the stories are so wrong.”
Watch part of Hannity’s interview with Trump via Fox News: