WASHINGTON - Amazon Chief Executive Jeff Bezos said the company would announce a decision on where it will build a second headquarters before the end of the year, and also said that President Donald Trump is wrong to “attack the media.”
Bezos privately owns the Washington Post, which has been among the media that have been the frequent target of broadsides from Trump.
Amazon has announced 20 finalists in North America for its planned investment of $5 billion (R74bn) and 50 000 jobs. At a speech before the Economic Club of Washington on Thursday, Bezos did not offer any favorites for the project.
Asked about Trump’s repeated criticism of both the Washington Post and Amazon, Bezos called it a “mistake” for any elected official to “attack media and journalists.”
What Trump “should say (of criticism) is, ‘This is right, this is good. I am glad I am being scrutinised,’ and that would be so secure and confident,” Bezos said. “But it is really dangerous to demonise the media. It is dangerous to call the media lowlifes, it is dangerous to say that they are the enemy of the people.”
“The media,” Bezos added, “is going to be fine. We’re going to push through this.”
Trump has described the Washington Post as Amazon’s “chief lobbyist.” The Washington Post’s top editor has said that Bezos has no involvement in its news coverage.
Bezos said he has had discussions with Trump but declined to elaborate. The White House did not immediately respond to request for comment.
Trump in the spring repeatedly said without evidence that package deliveries by the US Postal Service for Amazon were costing the service money. He ordered a task force to study the Postal Service, but sources last month said that the White House decided to not yet release the report, forcing a planned Senate hearing on postal reform to be delayed.