Former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers has some harsh words for President Donald Trump, who has recently been on the attack against Amazon.
“Going on jihads with the power of the federal government against companies whose CEOs’ private activity he doesn’t find congenial — that’s not the stuff of democracy,” Summers said in an interview last week on CNN. “That’s the stuff of much more totalitarian countries.”
Part of Trump’s ire comes from the fact that Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos privately owns The Washington Post, which has been behind breaking White House news that doesn’t portray Trump in the best light.
As a result, the president has referred to the paper as “fake news,” as well as claimed that the Post is a “lobbying group for Amazon.”
And over the past week, Trump has also thrown out a slew of accusations against Amazon via Twitter.
“I have stated my concerns with Amazon long before the Election. Unlike others, they pay little or no taxes to state & local governments, use our Postal System as their Delivery Boy (causing tremendous loss to the U.S.), and are putting many thousands of retailers out of business!” Trump tweeted on April 5.
Trump’s tweets are inaccurate, however. Amazon collects sales tax in every state that charges one and gives it to the states, and it also pays the post office for its package delivery services.
But the president told reporters late last week that he would “take a very serious look” at addressing the business advantages of the online retailer.
The news has driven down the company’s stock, which doesn’t sit well with Summers, a Democrat who led the Treasury Department under President Clinton and served as President Obama’s top economic adviser from 2009-2010.
“Make no mistake, that’s a Mussolini tactic, not an American tactic,” Summers said. He called Trump’s tweets “potentially quite dangerous for our business confidence.”