Trump 'may feel that there's some unfairness going on' with Amazon: top White House economic adviser

May 20, 2018, 12:41 PM

President Trump’s top economic adviser said Trump 'may feel that there's some unfairness going on' in regard to Amazon but said he couldn't comment in detail on the president's concerns about the giant online retailer because he hasn't been deeply involved in those discussions.

Larry Kudlow, director of the National Economic Council, was responding to ABC News Chief Anchor George Stephanopoulos' asking about a new Washington Post report that the president has personally pressed the U.S. Postmaster General to double the rate of postal charges on the giant online retailer whose CEO, Jeff Bezos, also owns The Washington Post.

"The president has tweeted about Amazon a lot," Stephanopoulos said. "Is it appropriate for the president to be singling out companies like this?"

Kudlow responded, "Well, look. I'm not -- that not in my lane, OK. I can't really comment specifically. I haven't looked at that."

Stephanopoulos pressed, "Well, it comes under the National Economic Council, doesn't it?"

Kudlow said, "Well, I suppose so, but again I haven't been involved in that discussion. Look, the president is a man of many opinions. I think you know that. I think we all know that. It's up to him. He may be carrying this ball. I can't comment directly on it."

Stephanopoulos asked about previous claims by Trump that the U.S. Postal Service is losing billions of dollars to Amazon.

"That simply isn't true," Stephanopoulos said to Kudlow. "Isn't it your responsibility to advise him of the facts?"

"If he asked me directly, it would be," Kudlow responded. "A lot of people looked at these numbers, and there are many different opinions about the validity of many different numbers, George."

The economic council director continued, "I have not been deeply involved in Amazon. The president may feel, look, he may feel that there's some unfairness going on here."

Stephanopoulos said many people are concerned that Trump may be targeting Amazon because of Bezos' owning The Washington Post.

"That is what a lot of people are concerned about here ... Amazon has not cost the postal service any money. And in fact, the president is targeting them because Jeff Bezos owns The Washington Post even though that has nothing to do with Amazon. That's what they say is inappropriate."

Kudlow said, "To be honest with you, I have seen numbers. You can probably do this on both sides. A lot of the numbers, by the way, have not been made available. We'll see."

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