White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders on Wednesday dismissed recent reports suggesting the top political office in the United States is preparing to announce imminent anti-Amazon policies and actions, having told CNBC no such efforts are in the works. According to a report from Axios citing people close to the White House, President Donald Trump is "obsessed" with Amazon and has previously asked about the possibility of going after the Seattle, Washington-based tech giant based on competition and antitrust law.
The President is said to be indifferent to Facebook's latest privacy scandal involving political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica which worked for his campaign during the 2016 election, as per the same report. The controversy ties into the possibility of Russian agents interfering with the outcome of the last U.S. presidential race, with President Trump still being convinced that story is "a hoax," according to insiders cited by Axios. Due to that state of affairs, he appears to be disinterested to contribute to the privacy debate surrounding Facebook, the report claims. The President repeatedly criticized Amazon since taking office in late 2016, having said USPS should charge the company more and publicly proclaimed the world's largest e-commerce platform should be paying higher taxes. While his antipathy toward Amazon supposedly remains unchanged, the White House doesn't appear to have a plan for hitting the digital empire built by Jeff Bezos in the near term. The President also sees The Washington Post owned by Mr. Bezos as the mogul's personal media weapon, one source said.
The report erased over $30 billion in Amazon's market capitalization over the last 24 hours, though its stock appears to have stabilized as of Thursday morning PST at north of $1,400. While the President is understood to be unfazed by Facebook's recent issues, Vice President Mike Pence is reportedly alarmed about the Menlo Park-based social media giant and also distrusts Google, having argued both companies are too powerful in the media and advertising segments, Axios claims. While the VP is now said to be open to suggestions about limiting the influence of the two Silicon Valley giants, he isn't actively pushing for any such actions or policies on his own, as per the same report.