Speed Reads

Trumpful Thinking

Washington is furious about Facebook, but Trump is reportedly 'obsessed' with Amazon

Congress may be hauling in Facebook executives for grilling about privacy safeguards, but Mark Zuckerberg apparently has nothing to fear from President Trump. Instead, five sources tell Axios, Trump is raring to go after Amazon. "He's obsessed with Amazon," a source said. "Obsessed." Vice President Mike Pence is reportedly concerned about the power Facebook and Google wield, but Trump has mused about changing Amazon's tax status and "wondered aloud if there may be any way to go after Amazon with antitrust or competition law," a source who has spoken with Trump tells Axios.

Trump has been publicly critical of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos' ownership of The Washington Post, but privately he is more focused on how the online marketplace is affecting brick-and-mortar businesses — and, oddly, the U.S. Postal Service. "The whole post office thing, that's very much a perception he has," another source tells Axios. "It's been explained to him in multiple meetings that his perception is inaccurate and that the post office actually makes a ton of money from Amazon." This isn't Trump's only misperceptionThe New York Times' Maggie Haberman said Tuesday that Trump similarly continues "to rail privately about the omnibus bill, and has become convinced of things that aren't true about it," something White House officials attribute to his Fox News viewership.

Trump isn't alone in believing that Amazon is harming more traditional retailers, but he has some loud voices influencing his views on the matter, Jonathan Swan reports. "Trump's wealthy friends tell him Amazon is destroying their businesses. His real estate buddies tell him — and he agrees — that Amazon is killing shopping malls and brick-and-mortar retailers." Trump would "love to clip CEO Jeff Bezos' wings," Swan adds, "but he doesn't have a plan to make that happen." Still, as they say: Where there's a will, there's probably someone willing to sell a way on Amazon.