Since he sold the Washington Post in 2013, Jeff Bezos has been known to be a champion of privacy and, often, a champion of democracy. But the world now knows that the billionaire Amazon chief executive is capable of going toe-to-toe with the political world on his own terms. For the second time in a week, Bezos has stepped on the landmines and thrown a poison pill at the president by acquiring The Washington Post. For now, at least, it’s not working for Trump.

The Obama-era administration granted the company massive tax breaks in order to locate its corporate headquarters in Maryland and Virginia. The state and local governments have already pledged a million dollars a year to the company to help provide a new campus. But Bezos has refused to agree to kick his investment in the paper to Trump-allied local governments. (The new Montgomery County Council, for example, does not plan to turn the money over.) After Trump made clear that he’d like the paper to give up its point-of-view, Bezos gave a clear and emphatic response. (See below for details.)

Bezos made the news even before he bought the Post, because he was trying to buy the Long Island City complex of New York City buildings that will soon become home to Amazon’s fulfillment centers. Trump took to Twitter to condemn the deal. (Bezos is slated to purchase the project from Vornado Realty Trust.)

Can you believe that the politicians in New York are making Amazon build a new headquarters somewhere else instead of right here in New York City. I was planning to go to Long Island City, but I said bye-bye to that deal, not acceptable! — Donald J. Trump () February 1, 2019

Can you believe that the politicians in New York are making Amazon build a new headquarters somewhere else instead of right here in New York City. I was planning to go to Long Island City, but I said bye-bye to that deal, not acceptable! — Donald J. Trump () February 1, 2019

If the Washington Post thinks they are big shots, they are sadly mistaken. I am watching them make a big mistake. — Donald J. Trump () February 1, 2019

Bezos responded to Trump on Twitter with a classic display of ruthless focus on the decision that he was making.

If ever had to pay fair taxes, its stock would crash and it would crumble like a paper bag. The scam is saving them! — Donald J. Trump () February 1, 2019

Once I bought that’s when all of a sudden they became my friend, thinking I knew more than I actually did! They are even FORCING me to use their “town” or “person” where their headquarters is located to complain about the President. Shady! — Donald J. Trump () February 1, 2019

Perhaps more importantly, the White House has now given up in its attempts to ban The Washington Post from the briefings with press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders and press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders. It’s a big win for Bezos, who has now successfully swatted away Trump’s attempt to bully and intimidate him. Trump has repeatedly tried to discredit the paper as a “fake news” organization, and has accused Bezos of stealing sources. But the acting editor of the Post, Marty Baron, tried to argue on CNN’s State of the Union that he and his reporting staff hold no animosity toward Trump. Instead, he said, they’re simply doing their jobs.

Read the full story at The Washington Post.

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Two Virginia officials who donated to a PAC promoting Republican state candidates who are now involved in a contract scandal have also given money to Bezos