Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos is out with a strong statement of opposition to President Trump’s immigration ban. In an email to employees, Bezos announced that the company has reached out to top White House officials to register its objections and is trying to work with Congressional leaders from parties “to explore legislative options.” Plus, he said, the company’s legal team is getting behind a forthcoming suit from the Washington state attorney general challenging Trump’s executive order, which bans travel to the U.S. for non-citizens from seven majorty-Muslim countries.
It’s not the first time Bezos and Trump have tangled. As a presidential candidate, Trump blasted Bezos by name, accusing the tech entrepreneur of buying the Washington Post to wield it for political influence. In an apparent response to tough Post coverage, Trump tweeted that Bezos used the paper “for purposes of keeping taxes down.” Bezos responded by sarcastically offering Trump a ride on a rocket from his aerospace company Blue Origin. And Trump later promised if elected to exact vengeance on Amazon. “Believe me, if I become president, oh, do they have problems. They’re going to have such problems,” Trump said in a February speech. (For what it’s worth, Amazon doesn’t own the Post; Bezos bought the paper through a personal investment firm.)
But in a sign of a potential thaw, Bezos tweeted a congratulations to Trump after his November win, offering the victor his “most open mind” and wishes for “great success.” And Trump included Bezos in a meeting of top tech leaders he convened at Trump Tower last month. However, it’s less than likely the CEO still has Trump’s ear regarding policy.
Read Bezos’s full note below.
RE: Advisory—New Executive Order’s Potential Impact on Amazon Employees
A quick update on where we are. This executive order is one we do not support. Our public policy team in D.C. has reached out to senior administration officials to make our opposition clear. We’ve also reached out to congressional leaders on both sides of the aisle to explore legislative options. Our legal team has prepared a declaration of support for the Washington State Attorney General who will be filing suit against the order. We are working other legal options as well.
We’re a nation of immigrants whose diverse backgrounds, ideas, and points of view have helped us build and invent as a nation for over 240 years. No nation is better at harnessing the energies and talents of immigrants. It’s a distinctive competitive advantage for our country—one we should not weaken.
To our employees in the U.S. and around the world who may be directly affected by this order, I want you to know that the full extent of Amazon’s resources are behind you.