Jeff Bezos' bombshell blog post on Thursday accusing The National Enquirer of extortion and its publishing of personal messages of his as being potentially motivated by its association with President Trump is the latest skirmish between the leader of the free world and the world's richest man.
The feud between the two, which mostly has consisted of critical tweets from Trump, started in December of 2015 with a tweet from then-Republican presidential candidate Trump, to which Bezos responded on Twitter with a brief sarcastic comment. Trump then didn't tweet again about Amazon (AMZN - Get Report) until June 2017, following that up with several more tweets that summer and then continuing to launch a steady drumbeat of criticisms beginning in March 2018.
In all, Trump has posted 26 tweets criticizing Amazon and Bezos, with Bezos responding once directly and once somewhat implicitly. Here's a look at the major volleys lobbed by the two men:
Trump's First Tweet Criticizing Bezos
Trump kicked things off with a dig at the Washington Post, Amazon and Bezos in December 2015, shortly after Trump announced his presidential campaign in June.
Bezos Replies With a Joke
Bezos responded with a sarcastic reference to his space flight company Blue Origin.
Trump Says Amazon Doesn't Pay Enough Taxes
President Trump tweeted on March 29, 2018 that he was concerned that Amazon pays minimal taxes to state and local governments.
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!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 29, 2018
Trump Says The USPS Subsidizes Amazon
Just days after the tax tweet, President Trump hopped to another favorite criticism of Amazon -- namely that its usage of the USPS costs taxpayers billions of dollars.
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," and that...— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 31, 2018
Trump Calls the Washington Post a Lobbyist for Amazon
Minutes later, Trump mentioned the Bezos-owned Washington Post, linking it to Amazon's taxes and partnership with the USPS.
...does not include the Fake Washington Post, which is used as a "lobbyist" and should so REGISTER. If the P.O. "increased its parcel rates, Amazon's shipping costs would rise by $2.6 Billion." This Post Office scam must stop. Amazon must pay real costs (and taxes) now!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 31, 2018
Trump Accuses Amazon of Unfair Competition
On April 2, 2018, Trump said the retail space is "not a level playing field."
Only fools, or worse, are saying that our money losing Post Office makes money with Amazon. THEY LOSE A FORTUNE, and this will be changed. Also, our fully tax paying retailers are closing stores all over the country...not a level playing field!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 2, 2018
Trump Calls The USPS Amazon's 'Delivery Boy'
On April 3, 2018 Trump doubled-down on his accusation that Amazon is taking advantage of the USPS.
I am right about Amazon costing the United States Post Office massive amounts of money for being their Delivery Boy. Amazon should pay these costs (plus) and not have them bourne by the American Taxpayer. Many billions of dollars. P.O. leaders don't have a clue (or do they?)!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 3, 2018
More Criticism of the Washington Post
On April 5, 2018, Trump called the newspaper a "lobbyist" and said its reporting was bad.
The Fake News Washington Post, Amazon's "chief lobbyist," has another (of many) phony headlines, "Trump Defiant As China Adds Trade Penalties." WRONG! Should read, "Trump Defiant as U.S. Adds Trade Penalties, Will End Barriers And Massive I.P. Theft." Typically bad reporting!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 5, 2018
Trump Calls the Washington Post a 'Propaganda Machine'
On July 7, 2018, Trump criticized the Washington Post once more, as well as the New York Times.
Twitter is getting rid of fake accounts at a record pace. Will that include the Failing New York Times and propaganda machine for Amazon, the Washington Post, who constantly quote anonymous sources that, in my opinion, don't exist - They will both be out of business in 7 years!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 7, 2018
A Trifecta: Amazon, WaPo and the USPS
Trump managed to get all three into one tweet on July 23, 2018, his first of two attacking Amazon that day.
The Amazon Washington Post has gone crazy against me ever since they lost the Internet Tax Case in the U.S. Supreme Court two months ago. Next up is the U.S. Post Office which they use, at a fraction of real cost, as their "delivery boy" for a BIG percentage of their packages....— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 23, 2018
Trump Links Amazon to WaPo
On January 12, 2019, Trump criticized a Washington Post reporter for commenting on his decision to shut the government down.
I just watched a Fake reporter from the Amazon Washington Post say the White House is "chaotic, there does not seem to be a strategy for this Shutdown. There is no plan." The Fakes always like talking Chaos, there is NONE. In fact, there's almost nobody in the W.H. but me, and...— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 12, 2019
Trump Calls Bezos a 'Bozo'
On January 13, Trump tweeted about the National Enquirer story detailing Bezos' relationship with Lauren Sanchez, including embarrassing private text messages. Trump has not tweeted about Amazon and Bezos since then.
So sorry to hear the news about Jeff Bozo being taken down by a competitor whose reporting, I understand, is far more accurate than the reporting in his lobbyist newspaper, the Amazon Washington Post. Hopefully the paper will soon be placed in better & more responsible hands!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 14, 2019
Bezos Tweets About His Response to 'Developments with the National Enquirer'
On February 7, Bezos posted a link to his blog post on Medium outlining the National Enquirer's alleged attempt to get him to drop his investigation into the motivation for their stories about him, in return for not publishing graphic photos of him and his girlfriend.
I've written a post about developments with the National Enquirer and its parent company, AMI. You can find it here: https://t.co/G1ykJAPPwy— Jeff Bezos (@JeffBezos) February 7, 2019