President Donald Trump’s top economic adviser, Larry Kudlow, says it’s not his job to weigh in on his boss’ repeated threats against private e-commerce company Amazon.
“That’s not in my lane,” Kudlow, who chairs the White House’s National Economic Council, said Sunday on ABC’s “This Week.” “I can’t really comment specifically. I haven’t looked at that.”
“Well it comes under the National Economic Council, doesn’t it?” asked host George Stephanopoulos.
“Well, I suppose so,” Kudlow responded. “I haven’t really been involved in that discussion. Look, the president is a man of many opinions. It’s up to him. He may be carrying the ball. I can’t really comment on it.”
Trump has ramped up his attacks against Amazon in recent weeks, accusing the company of avoiding taxes and running a “post office scam.” He has also targeted The Washington Post, which is owned by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, calling the newspaper a lobbyist organization for the company.
On Friday, The Los Angeles Times reported that Trump “personally pushed U.S. Postmaster General Megan Brennan to double the rate the Postal Service charges Amazon.com and other firms to ship packages,” a move the newspaper said would cost the companies billions of dollars.
Many of Trump’s claims about Amazon’s business and its relationship with the U.S. Postal Service are outdated or plainly false, according to the website PolitiFact. Amazon pays taxes in most states, and it has “provided some help to the financial picture of the Postal Service,” according to the agency.
But Kudlow, a free market advocate who opened his former CNBC television show “The Kudlow Report” by reciting the motto, “We believe that free market capitalism is the best path to prosperity,” again declined to push back on the president’s claim that Amazon was costing the Postal Service money.
“I’ve seen the figures, offense and defense, on that one,” he said. “To be honest with you, I have seen numbers. You can probably do this on both sides. A lot of the numbers, by the way, have not been made available. We’ll see.”
- This article originally appeared on HuffPost.