Donald Trump hates Jeff Bezos, the CEO of Amazon, the world’s number one online retailer. Trump doesn’t hate Bezos because he received a package late or even because (as he claims) Amazon is responsible for a lot of brick and mortar stores closing down. Trump hates Bezos because the Amazon boss also owns the Washington Post, a newspaper that has been relentlessly following the Trump/Russia story.
On Wednesday, Trump lashed out at Bezos via Twitter, causing Amazon stocks to significantly dip, before rebounding.
Amazon is doing great damage to tax paying retailers. Towns, cities and states throughout the U.S. are being hurt – many jobs being lost!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 16, 2017
This tantrum caused Amazon’s stocks to lose 1.2 percent of their value before going back up and then back down a far more modest .4 percent.
Don’t let Trump’s sudden concern for small businesses fool you. It’s all about revenge for the Washington Post. In the past, Trump has wrongfully accused Amazon of not paying taxes, which is rich from the White House occupant who refuses to show his tax returns.
Trump has also accused Bezos of using the Washington Post as a tax shelter, despite the fact that the Washington Post is completely separate from Amazon.
This is far from the first time Trump has lashed out as companies whose CEOs have someone offended the thin-skinned dictator.
He went after Lockheed Martin, whose stock quickly tumbled:
Based on the tremendous cost and cost overruns of the Lockheed Martin F-35, I have asked Boeing to price-out a comparable F-18 Super Hornet!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 22, 2016
On Monday, he attacked Merck Pharmaceutical because their CEO, Ken Frazier, dared resign from Trump’s manufacturing council after Trump’s offensive reactions to the racists who held a violent march in Charlottesville, VA.
Now that Ken Frazier of Merck Pharma has resigned from President’s Manufacturing Council,he will have more time to LOWER RIPOFF DRUG PRICES!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 14, 2017
While this might not be technically illegal, manipulating the stock market via the bully pulpit is highly unethical. It’s coercion. It’s anti-free market. Trump’s Twitter account needs to be shut down. Now.
The upside, though, is that when Trump tweeted complaining about Boeing before he took office, its stock took a major dive. By contrast, his recent tweets have had a much, much more modest effect. In other words, very few people are taking the Blusterer in Chief seriously.
Featured image via Drew Angerer/Getty Images