President Donald Trump, between tweets casting ire on Attorney General Jeff Sessions Monday, took time to question the validity of the Jeff Bezos-owned Washington Post.
Is Fake News Washington Post being used as a lobbyist weapon against Congress to keep Politicians from looking into Amazon no-tax monopoly?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 25, 2017
The tweet is the latest part of a running feud between the president and the Post, often focusing on Amazon founder Bezos’s ownership interest in the paper. The Post has taken an ardently globalist editorial stance since Bezos aquired the paper from long time owners the Graham family in 2013 and has been sharply critical of President Trump since the announcement of his presidential campaign.
As with this tweet, much of Trump’s criticism has focused on the possible use of the Post’s reach as a prominent mainstream media outlet to advance Bezos’s and, by extension, Amazon’s business interests. Trump has made the argument that the Post serves to preserve Amazon’s exemption from most state sales taxes since last year. In the same time period, Trump has accused the online retailer of being a monopoly in need of antitrust enforement action and the Post as a tool to turn the public off to that notion. Both strains of thought appear to play a role in the president’s Monday night tweet.
The president has used the “Amazon Washington Post” line of attack as recently as this past weekend when he declared, “A new INTELLIGENCE LEAK from the Amazon Washington Post, this time against A.G. Jeff Sessions. These illegal leaks, like Comey’s, must stop!”
A new INTELLIGENCE LEAK from the Amazon Washington Post,this time against A.G. Jeff Sessions.These illegal leaks, like Comey's, must stop!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 22, 2017
The president’s anger with the left-leaning paper, popularly known in the cold-war era beltway as the “Pravda on the Potomac,” a reference to the Soviet state propaganda organ, is no doubt fueled by the Post’s near constant publication of leaks from confidential sources in and around the White House. Such leaks have reportedly included highly classified information, yet the Post has made no signals that it intends to stop publishing them.