US President Donald Trump has long criticized Amazon for its working relationship with the United States Postal Service and for its links to the Washington Post through its founder and CEO Jeff Bezos.
Now the president appears to be going to bat for the company, just in time for the retailer’s Prime Day 2019.
Speaking at the Made in America Product Showcase on Monday, Trump took the opportunity to follow up on his series of tweets blasting freshman Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rashida Tlaib, Ayanna Pressley, and Ilhan Omar.
After saying that Omar “hates Jews,” Trump moved on to blame Ocasio-Cortez for Amazon’s decision to scrap its planned HQ2 in Long Island City, Queens, claiming that she “kept Amazon out of New York.”
Amazon, the White House, and Ocasio-Cortez’s office didn’t immediately respond to Business Insider’s request for comment.
“Tens of thousands of jobs,” Trump said. “Would’ve been a great thing. And she kept Amazon from going — would’ve been a good deal. Could he have made better? Maybe. But tens of thousands of jobs.”
Amazon’s second headquarters, which was due to be split between Northern Virginia and Long Island City, would have eventually employed 25,000 people in each location. The Seattle-based company abruptly canceled its move to New York in February, after facing backlash from local politicians.
It’s unclear who the “he” Trump referred to is supposed to be, although New York’s Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the Democratic Mayor of New York City, Bill DeBlasio, were two major advocates for the proposed HQ2.
“New York has not been the same since that happened,” Trump said. “It’s really hurt New York and New York City. Amazon was going to go there, they were going to relocate a major section of their business.”
It’s unclear what Trump meant by his statements about the long-term effects on New York City. Despite its setback with HQ2, Amazon is still reportedly looking to bolster its presence in New York City.
Ocasio-Cortez did criticize Amazon’s HQ2 plans, saying that the city “shouldn’t be inviting bullies to our neighborhood” in a town hall hosted after the tech giant pulled out of the deal. But she was far from the only progressive politician to do so. Sen. Bernie Sanders and Sen. Elizabeth Warren have also gone to bat against Amazon, and a New York state board proved to be an instrumental player in throwing a wrench in Amazon’s plans.
“She kept them out,” Trump said, referring to Ocasio-Cortez. “That was a terrible thing she did, a terrible thing she did.”
Trump’s comments didn’t just represent a re-hashing of the Amazon debate. His criticisms of Ocasio-Cortez and Omar also served as a follow-up to his recent series of tweets— widely described as blatantly racist — in which he suggested that the members of Congress “go back and help fix” the “places from which they came.”
Tlaib hails from Detroit, Pressley comes from Cincinnati, and Ocasio-Cortez was born in New York City’s Bronx borough.
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