Donald Trump’s aides have tried to explain to him how Amazon shipping and taxes work. But Trump knows what he wants to believe, and facts have nothing to do with it, even when they come from his own staff. They explained it soon after he came into office:
Gary Cohn, his top economic adviser, and other officials gave PowerPoint presentations and briefing papers they believed debunked his concerns that Amazon was dodging taxes and exploiting the U.S. Postal Service.
It made little difference. Mr. Trump persisted in attacks that ran counter to the material they had showed him.
“It’s not the narrative he wants,” one person familiar with the matter said of the White House briefings. “He clearly didn’t find it persuasive because he keeps saying it’s untrue.”
As he’s attacked Amazon on Twitter over the past week, they’ve explained it again:
Mr. Trump’s most recent statements prompted White House aides to go back to him this week to tell him his Amazon critique might be “missing the point,” a White House official said. In response, Mr. Trump has been “digging in,” this person said.
But Trump has his reasons for hating Amazon, even if they aren’t the reasons he publicly offers. Specifically, he’s angry that Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos owns the Washington Post, which sometimes commits acts of journalism that don’t flatter Trump. If the owner of the Washington Post was the CEO of a gun manufacturer, Trump would probably develop a whole lot of problems with how gun manufacturers do their business.
To sum up, Trump feels personally insulted by a newspaper reporting facts, so he’s making stuff up to attack the business through which the newspaper’s owner made his billions, and his lies are problematic enough that his own staff has tried to correct him, with zero success. And since all of this is happening from the Oval Office, it’s America’s problem rather than the Trump Organization’s problem. Not that Trump seems to know the difference.