Real-estate mogul Donald Trump perplexed some financial experts on Monday when he fired off a series of tweets slamming Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos for supposedly using The Washington Post as a “tax shelter.”
Bezos bought The Post in 2013, which Trump suggested was a “scam” to lower the tax rate for Amazon.
“The @washingtonpost, which loses a fortune, is owned by @JeffBezos for purposes of keeping taxes down at his no profit company, @amazon,” the Republican presidential front-runner wrote.
“The @washingtonpost loses money (a deduction) and gives owner @JeffBezos power to screw public on low taxation of @Amazon! Big tax shelter,” he added. “If @amazon ever had to pay fair taxes, its stock would crash and it would crumble like a paper bag. The @washingtonpost scam is saving it!”
A number of economic experts and finance reporters wrote on Twitter that they couldn’t quite make sense of Trump’s claim.
Austan Goolsbee, the former chairman of President Barack Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers, wrote that Trump’s tweets were “one of the dumbest things said about economics this week”:
Some reporters noted that Amazon does not own The Post:
It wasn’t immediately clear what The Post did to earn Trump’s ire. However, Trump often attacks publications after they publish critical articles.
Within the last day or so, The Post fact-checked Trump’s “false” claim that he “predicted” Osama bin Laden, disputed his questioning of Muslim-American sports heroes, and published a piece titled, “Trump continues to lead the polls. Here’s why he might not win the election.”
Disclosure: Jeff Bezos is an investor in Business Insider through hispersonal investment company Bezos Expeditions.