The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

Donald Trump called out Jeff Bezos on Twitter. Then Bezos called his bluff.

Jeff Bezos

Donald Trump's tweetstorms directed at media organizations — and sometimes even at individual reporters — have become commonplace in the 2016 presidential race. Seemingly out of the blue, The Donald takes to Twitter to bash his chosen media opponent of the day. He sends an eruption of tweets, then goes silent — like an active volcano. You never really know when it's going to blow — or, often, why.

On Monday, Trump's ire was directed at The Washington Post and, more specifically, Jeff Bezos, the founder of and owner of The Post since 2013. At around 10 a.m. Eastern time, Trump sent a trio of tweets about Bezos and The Post. Here they are:

Then, five hours later, he was back at it with a final shot in The Post's direction.

Trying to reverse-engineer your way back to the "why" behind Trump's tweets about The Post yields mixed results.  The first three tweets seem to come out of nowhere. There appears to be no obvious provocation from The Post or Bezos — or any sort of story that would set Trump off.

And, not for nothing, Trump is wrong on his facts. Amazon doesn't own The Washington Post. Bezos's holding company — Nash Holdings — does. And, as you might guess, a company as large as Amazon does pay taxes — a lot of them. (Worth noting: Some contend that Amazon's ability to avoid paying state sales tax gives it a competitive edge.)

The last tweet makes slightly more sense as it is a response to a piece I wrote that was published in Monday's newspaper. In it, I proposed that Jeb Bush and his Right to Rise super PAC could spend their tens of millions on ads attacking Trump in hopes of slowing or stopping him.

Regardless of the motive(s) behind Trump's tweets, it did stir Bezos — a new member of the Twittersphere — to type only the fourth tweet of his life.

Blue Origin, Bezos's rocket company, had a major success last month when one of its rockets launched and landed intact — a reusable rocket aimed at making space flight cheaper and, therefore, more accessible to the average person.

Of course, Trump, who boasts of his massive wealth every chance he gets, could probably pay full freight for a Blue Origin flight.