- The Washington Times - Sunday, April 1, 2018

American mega-corporation Amazon came under fire from both sides of the aisle over the weekend, with President Trump blasting it as having taken advantage of U.S. taxpayers, and Sen. Bernard Sanders warning that the company has grown too large and its influence over the economy far too great.

Mr. Trump has been a longtime critic of the company and its owner, Jeff Bezos, now the richest man in the world and the owner of The Washington Post.

While the president often has said the company skirts paying its fair share of taxes, the call from Mr. Sanders to look into whether Amazon could balloon into a retail monopoly underscores concern on all sides of the political spectrum.

Mr. Sanders was asked on CNN’s “State of the Union” program whether he thinks Amazon has gotten too big.

“Yeah, I do,” he said. “This is an issue that has got to be looked at. What we’re seeing all over this country is the decline in retail. We’re seeing this incredibly large company getting involved in almost every area of commerce and I think it is important to look at the power and influence that Amazon has.”

Beginning last week, the president also tore into Amazon.

“I have stated my concerns with Amazon long before the election. Unlike others, they pay little or no taxes to state & local governments, use our Postal System as their Delivery Boy (causing tremendous loss to the U.S.), and are putting many thousands of retailers out of business!” the president tweeted.

Amazon has disputed the idea that it pays less than its share of taxes, though the company did not directly respond to Mr. Trump’s attack.

The president continued on Friday, taking aim at Amazon and the Post.

“While we are on the subject, it is reported that the U.S. Post Office will lose $1.50 on average for each package it delivers for Amazon. That amounts to Billions of Dollars. The Failing N.Y. Times reports that ‘the size of the company’s lobbying staff has ballooned,’” he continued in a series of tweets. “And that does not include the Fake Washington Post, which is used as a ‘lobbyist’ and should REGISTER.”

“This Post Office scam must stop. Amazon must pay real costs (and taxes) now!” he concluded.

For its part, the Post pushed back against Mr. Trump’s tweets over the weekend, saying in a story that “The Post’s editors and Bezos have declared that Bezos is not involved in any journalistic decisions.”

The president has feuded frequently with the Post, which has been highly critical of his presidency. Last summer, he called the newspaper a “lobbyist weapon” for Amazon

Dave Boyer contributed to this report.

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