Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos Accuses National Enquirer of “Extortion and Blackmail”

HeadlineFeb 08, 2019

The world’s richest man—Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos—has publicly accused the owner of the National Enquirer of “extortion and blackmail.” Bezos recently hired a private investigator to determine how the tabloid newspaper obtained private text messages between him and his lover and whether the paper’s actions were politically motivated. For years, the National Enquirer’s top editor, David Pecker, has had a close relationship with President Trump, who frequently attacks Bezos and The Washington Post, which Bezos owns. On Thursday night, a reporter at The Washington Post told MSNBC that Bezos’ security and legal team believe the private texts might have been accessed by a “government entity.” The National Enquirer’s parent company, American Media, Inc., responded to Bezos’s investigation by threatening to publish revealing photos of Bezos if he did not agree to publicly state that the Enquirer’s coverage was not politically motivated or influenced by political forces. In a blog post on the site Medium, Bezos suggests the leak of his text messages might be connected to his ownership of the Post. Bezos wrote, “It’s unavoidable that certain powerful people who experience Washington Post news coverage will wrongly conclude I am their enemy. President Trump is one of those people, obvious by his many tweets. Also, The Post’s essential and unrelenting coverage of the murder of its columnist Jamal Khashoggi is undoubtedly unpopular in certain circles.” In his blog post, Bezos went on to write, “For reasons still to be better understood, the Saudi angle seems to hit a particularly sensitive nerve.” Meanwhile, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Ronan Farrow of The New Yorker has also revealed that he was threatened with blackmail over his reporting on the National Enquirer and President Trump.

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