Axios reported on Wednesday morning that, while Facebook may increasingly be in the sights of legislators and regulators, Trump is more concerned with Amazon’s insidious influence on American life. According to Jonathan Swan, people close to the president say that he is “obsessed” with the company and that he has “wondered aloud if there may be any way to go after Amazon with antitrust or competition law.” Amazon’s stock dropped significantly in the wake of Axios’s report.
Trump believes that Amazon does not pay its fair share of taxes, which is true. He seems to be particularly focused on “subsidies” that the United States Postal Service gives to Amazon, however, having gone on record that USPS should be charging “MUCH MORE.”
(Amazon is getting a pretty good deal from USPS, but this relationship doesn’t crack the top 50 in the long list of things to be mad at Amazon about.) Finally, according to Axios, Trump’s “real estate buddies tell him—and he agrees—that Amazon is killing shopping malls and brick-and-mortar retailers.”
Thanks to Trump’s verbosity, voters have a pretty good idea what he cares about and why. We know, for instance, that he really does care about the USPS subsidies, since he has mentioned it in the past. We also can surmise that what Trump was probably actually mad about on December 29, 2017, was this story about White House dysfunction that was published in the Jeff Bezos-owned Washington Post, since the Post is one of his frequent targets.
The death of brick-and-mortar retail is something that Trump, a New York City native who has been safely cocooned from shopping malls his entire life, has never mentioned with regard to Amazon. This suggests that Trump’s interest in Amazon is personal, not political.