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

Fight disinformation: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter and follow the news that matters.

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.

We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

payment methods

We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate