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Trump, citing no evidence, claims Amazon uses Washington Post as "lobbyist"

President Trump attacked Amazon and The Washington Post on Twitter Saturday, claiming without providing any evidence that the paper is used as the company's "lobbyist."

"The Failing N.Y. Times reports that 'the size of (Amazon's) lobbying staff has ballooned,'" he tweeted. That, Mr. Trump said, "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!" he tweeted. 

Mr. Trump fired off the tweets on the way from his Mar-a-Lago club in Palm Beach, Fla., to his golf course. Mr. Trump has criticized Amazon for what he sees as taking advantage of the U.S. Post Office. Mr. Trump claimed Saturday the Post Office loses $1.50 on average for each package it delivers for Amazon. CBS News' Moneywatch team fact-checked this claim, noting that the U.S. Post Office actually makes money on parcel delivery.  

The Washington Post's Phillip Rucker wrote about Mr. Trump's claims with the headline, "Trump accuses Amazon of 'Post Office scam,' falsely says The Post is company's lobbyist."

"The president also incorrectly conflated Amazon with The Post and made clear that his attacks on the retailer were inspired by his disdain for the newspaper's coverage," Rucker wrote. "He labeled the newspaper 'the Fake Washington Post,' and demanded it register as a lobbyist for Amazon. The Post operates independently of Amazon, though the news organization is personally owned by Jeffrey P. Bezos, the founder and chief executive of Amazon."

Mr. Trump has previously blasted Amazon for making the postal service "dumber and poorer." There is little to these claims. While the postal service is struggling, it's not because of Amazon. In fact, package delivery is one of the few lines of business that's growing.  

The White House has insisted Mr. Trump's complaints with Amazon are based solely in policy, and Mr. Trump's comments connecting what he calls the "fake" Washington Post to Amazon may make that argument more difficult. 

Earlier this week, Mr. Trump blasted Amazon, claiming it hurts retailers, "pay(s) little or no taxes to state and local governments," and drains the Postal Service's resources. Mr. Trump made that criticism following a report in Axios that Mr. Trump wants to rein in the e-commerce company by changing Amazon's tax treatment or go after Amazon for any alleged antitrust violations. 

On Saturday, Amazon and The Washington Post weren't Mr. Trump's only targets. He also fired off a tweet about California Gov. Jerry Brown, apparently based off of Fox News coverage. Mr. Trump said Brown "pardoned five criminal illegal aliens whose crimes include (1) Kidnapping and Robbery (2) Badly beating wife and threatening a crime with intent to terrorize (3) Dealing drugs. Is this really what the great people of California want? @FoxNews"

The Department of Justice is suing the state of California for laws that, as the DOJ sees it, prohibit the federal government from enforcing federal immigration laws. Mr. Trump attacked Brown in his first visit as president to California earlier this month, saying the governor "does a very poor job running California."

  • Kathryn Watson

    Kathryn Watson is a politics reporter for CBS News Digital.