Donald Trump has accused Washington Post owner Jeff Bezos of using the storied newspaper as a political tool, a charge that the Post’s executive editor has refuted.
The Washington Post “is owned as a toy by Jeff Bezos,” the presumptive Republican presidential nominee said during an interview with Fox News’ Sean Hannity, which was posted online Friday. “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.”
Amazon — which Bezos founded and operates but is a separate entity from the newspaper that Bezos bought in 2013 — originally collected and paid sales taxes in only a few states, but today it collects and pays sales tax on shipments sent to the 29 states where it has any physical facilities.
The Post’s executive editor, Martin Baron, responded in a statement by asserting that Bezos has never given him any editorial mandates.
“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 said. “The Post has a long tradition of publishing thorough examinations of the major party nominees for president.”
Trump was responding to comments by Post Associate Editor Bob Woodward, who rose to prominence for his role reporting the Nixon Watergate scandal, that the newspaper has 20 reporters assigned to investigate Trump’s life for a book announced earlier this week.
Baron said the decision to write a book about Trump “came entirely from the newsroom.”
Representatives for Amazon didn’t immediately respond to TheWrap’s message seeking comment.
In 2013, Bezos bought the Washington Post Co.’s newspaper publishing businesses for $250 million, including its flagship newspaper, after decades of family ownership.