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President Donald Trump is invoking Seattle-based Amazon and Internet taxes in one of his latest tweets against the news media. It has a lot of people confused as to what he was talking about.
"The #AmazonWashingtonPost, sometimes referred to as the guardian of Amazon not paying internet taxes (which they should) is FAKE NEWS!" Trump tweeted Wednesday morning.
The #AmazonWashingtonPost, sometimes referred to as the guardian of Amazon not paying internet taxes (which they should) is FAKE NEWS!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 28, 2017
The Washington Post, which has broken several stories on the investigation into Russia's alleged meddling in the 2016 election and possible ties to the Trump campaign, is owned by Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos.
The tweet has many on Twitter pondering: What are Internet taxes?
Wait... is he going after Amazon now? What are Internet taxes? https://t.co/IXb2xboUYz— Kevin Powers (@kevinpowers70) June 28, 2017
Why is it Amazon does not pay internet taxes? Explain ! Your head of Government. Do you pay internet taxes in your sites?— Peter (@Peter38982844) June 28, 2017
Does he mean Amazon not paying internet taxes or consumers not paying internet taxes?— Joseph Kauffman (@jkauffman23) June 28, 2017
Amazon Should pay Internet Taxes , Agree..— #HANDMADE #SOAP (@handmade_soap) June 28, 2017
President Barack Obama signed a bill in 2016 that included the Internet Tax Freedom Act. The act permanently banned state and local taxation on Internet access. It also banned multiple or discriminatory taxes on electronic commerce.
Some are speculating Trump is voicing support for a sales tax on purchases made over the Internet, something Amazon has lobbied for.
Also, what the hot hell are "internet taxes"? Are you referring to sales tax? Amazon collects that now.— Joel 🌮 (@JoelNihlean) June 28, 2017
Politico reports Amazon has been collecting sales taxes in all states that have a sales tax since April 1.
In an interview with Fox News host Sean Hannity last year, Trump accused Bezos of using The Washington Post as a tool for political power.
"This is owned as a toy by Jeff Bezos who controls Amazon. 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," Trump said. Trump added that he read somewhere that Bezos was worried Trump would go after him for anti-trust violations.
The tweet comes a week after Bezos and other tech leaders met with Trump for a summit at The White House.
Some questioned if this was a bit of hypocrisy by Trump.
During the election season, there were reports that Trump avoided paying federal income tax for various reasons. When pressed on this by Hillary Clinton in one of the presidential debates, Trump said, "that makes me smart."
Since Trump has refused to release his tax returns, there is no way to know what he did and did not pay. The only evidence seen of his taxes was when Rachel Maddow in March obtained a copy of a 1040 form from his 2005 return. It showed he paid $5.3 million in federal income tax and $31 million in alternative minimum tax.
Some grammar hounds focused more on the confusing wording of the tweet due to a missing comma.
Like I always say, did you see that front-page story in The Guardian of Amazon Not Paying Internet Taxes (Which They Should)? https://t.co/AnnMdRyB3U— Dave Itzkoff (@ditzkoff) June 28, 2017
Yes, many people refer to the Washington Post as "the guardian of Amazon not paying internet taxes."— Philip Koplin (@pkkp42) June 28, 2017
I was recently reading the guardian of Amazon and wondered about who pays their internet taxes these days.— Andy Diacetis (@andydiacetis) June 28, 2017
I for one often say "did you read that great story in the guardian of Amazon not paying internet taxes?" I mean who doesn't? https://t.co/MkzbrmUtZZ— Ben White (@morningmoneyben) June 28, 2017
A Google search of "Guardian of Amazon" conducted right after the tweet went out found no reference to that phrase, but did find articles in the newspaper "The Guardian" about Amazon.
The tweet also comes a day after the Post reported that a fake Time Magazine cover featuring Trump, dated March 1, 2009, hangs in at least five of his golf clubs. Time has reportedly asked the clubs to take it down.