New York City mayor Bill de Blasio strongly suggested on Friday that Amazon boss Jeff Bezos pulled out of his plans to build a second corporate headquarters in the Big Apple because of fallout stemming from his relationship with news anchor Lauren Sanchez.
“I think we could all say that unusual things were happening within the Amazon family at that moment in time — and that was said politely,” de Blasio said on “Morning Joe” Friday. “There were clearly some unusual factors happening. We know who the ultimate decision maker is. I only am saying it was an unusual environment.”
On set, several regular guests immediately pounced, demanding to know if the mayor was specifically referring to the Bezos affair with Sanchez. “You think his affair had something to do with that?” Donny Deutsch asked.
“You floated something out that we have to pin you down on,” co-host Willie Geist added moments later. “You believe Jeff Bezos affair is somehow …”
“I didn’t say that. I said an unusual environment,” de Blasio continued. “A lot of cross-pressures, a lot of things going on.”
“Like what?” Geist demanded.
The mayor declined to elaborate on those “cross-pressures” and instead punted to the show saying it was their responsibility to uncover the truth. Geist kept pressing over what de Blasio meant — to some laugher on set — but the mayor demurred.
Reps for de Blasio’s office and Amazon declined to comment further on the matter.
While the Amazon deal was announced with great, fanfare in November 2018, the company abruptly pulled the plug on the plan after rising opposition from liberal and Democratic Socialist lawmakers in the city.
Though the Amazon deal had faced broad support across all demographics of New Yorkers, critics attacked the billions of dollars in tax abatements the company was offered as an incentive. Others worried about rising costs of living and gentrification issues which also would have accompanied the retailer’s planned move to Long Island City.
Though de Blasio called the Amazon pullout “unquestionably” a big loss for New York City, it was celebrated by a new rising star in his party — Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
“Anything is possible: today was the day a group of dedicated, everyday New Yorkers & their neighbors defeated Amazon’s corporate greed, its worker exploitation, and the power of the richest man in the world,” she tweeted after the company announced the pullout in February.