Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump is flouting that adage about the perils of pissing off people who buy ink by the barrel.
Trump launched a Twitter rant accusing Amazon founder Jeff Bezos of using his personal ownership of the Washington Post as a tax dodge.
Trump never seems to let the facts get in the way of his bombastic remarks, so pointing out that Amazon turned a profit in its most recent quarter is probably pointless.
But the real estate mogul appears to misunderstand Bezos’s investment in the Washington Post, which he acquired in 2013 through Nash Holdings, his personal investment firm. The Post’s losses won’t offset Amazon’s tax bill, but Bezos could certainly take a write-off to lower his own taxable income, tax experts told Reuters.
If Trump really wanted to attack Bezos and Amazon, he should have called out Amazon for employing tax dodges that routed its European profits through a country known for being a low-tax haven.
The online retailer came under fire from European regulators for avoiding taxes by funneling revenue through a holding company in Luxembourg. Amazon agreed in May to start paying taxes in Britain, Germany, Italy and Spain — countries where it has large operations.
The tax-averse Bezos once told an interviewer that he considered locating Amazon’s headquarters in the Bay Area, whose appeal went beyond the obvious access to technical talent. “I even investigated whether we could set up Amazon.com on an Indian reservation near San Francisco. This way we could have access to talent without all the tax consequences,” Bezos said.
Trump should be careful about biting the hand that feeds online sales of his book, “Crippled America: How to Make America Great Again.”
During Amazon’s highly publicized dispute with book publisher Hachette, it slowed delivery of Hachette authors’ books by two to five weeks.
Bezos turned to Twitter to offer his response, which humorously suggested sending Trump into space.
This article originally appeared on Recode.net.