There’s a New Problem With Trump’s Attacks on Amazon

The president’s own online store reportedly only collects taxes in two states.

Kyle Mazza/ZUMA

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President Donald Trump has recently ramped up his attacks against Amazon and its founder Jeff Bezos for not paying enough in local and state taxes. While there are plenty of problems with the president’s criticism, it looks as if hypocrisy might be a new one.

Amazon collects taxes in 45 states, but the Wall Street Journal reported Friday that the president’s own online store—which offers an array of Trump-branded items including Trump wine glasses, baseball caps, and golf accessories—pays local taxes in only two states, Florida and Louisiana. Though the web store claims it is headquartered in Trump Tower in New York City, it doesn’t appear to pay New York state taxes either. 

States require a business with a physical presence in a state to collect sales taxes on online purchases delivered to those states. A spokesman for the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance said it can’t comment on specific businesses for privacy reasons.

The White House declined to comment on the report.

In recent days, Trump has repeatedly targeted Amazon, charging the online retail giant for ripping off the US Postal Service (an accusation experts contend is dubious at best) and not paying its fair share in taxes. But Trump’s latest outrage may not have much to do with Amazon but is instead a way of attacking the Washington Post, which has produced a slew of accurate, award-winning reporting critical of the Trump administration.

While Trump isn’t one to back down from a fight, he has been notably protective of the Trump Organization and his business dealings—an area he has referred to as a red line in the special counsel’s ongoing Russia investigation. The Wall Street Journal‘s report may open another aspect of the president’s businesses to scrutiny, but that still may not put his revenge obsession with Bezos to rest.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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