Jeff Bezos, Amazon’s chief executive, was “very annoyed” when he refused to meet with White House trade adviser Peter Navarro, the Washington Post reported Wednesday. It’s the latest development in the never-ending feud between Bezos and the Trump administration. Since 2016, they have been on Twitter for their ongoing attacks on The Washington Post, which is owned by Amazon and Bezos.
According to the Washington Post, Navarro offered to hold a meeting with Bezos last month at a lavish alfalfa club dinner in Washington, D.C., to discuss counterfeit products on his platform. The company has long struggled with counterfeit goods and has worked with U.S. Customs to remove them when they are found.
Bezos reportedly replied: ‘Call Jay Carney and tell him we’ll meet. Carney, a former press secretary to Obama, now works in Amazon’s communications division. In the past few weeks, amazon executives have held several meetings with Navarro, which Bezos himself did not attend.
And that infuriated Bezos. He told The Washington Post on Tuesday that the main reason he wanted to meet Bezos was because he could “stop the fakes (on Amazon) completely in the blink of an eye.” Navarro continued: “It’s a rare situation where a person can have a huge impact on the problem – but so far it’s still being ‘turned a blind eye’. “
Bezos chose to respond to Navarro’s comments on Instagram.
Suppose you’re having a big cocktail party and someone you don’t know is talking to your father and girlfriend and asking for a meeting. And this person is the kind of person who actually uses the word “minions” to describe your employees. “
Emily Birnbaum of The Hill interviewed Navarro on Thursday and asked how he felt about Bezos’s message about him on Instagram, to which he responded:
This may be a mediocre and passive lying and offensive post by the author of “Zen and Counterfeit Trafficking Art.” It would be more constructive to simply meet with White House representatives to discuss a very serious issue.
This isn’t the first time Bezos has been dogged by controversy among Trump administration officials. Mr. Trump himself has frequently attacked Mr. Bezos for owning the Washington Post and cursed the billionaire on Twitter. Amazon is also in the midst of a huge federal lawsuit challenging the government’s decision to award Microsoft a $10 billion contract.
An Amazon spokesman told The Verge: “Amazon executives have met with government officials, including Mr. Navarro, on several occasions to discuss our common goal of combating counterfeit goods. We are eager to continue this cooperation and will give our executives enough time to meet to solve the problem effectively. “