Amazon founder and Washington Post owner Jeff Bezos sharply criticized President TrumpDonald John TrumpSouth Carolina detention centers say it will not relocate inmates in mandatory evacuation zones Letitia James routs three Dems to win New York AG primary Trump slams Kerry for 'illegal' meetings with Iran MORE on Thursday over his treatment of the news media, urging the president not to "demonize" members of the press.
During remarks made at the Economic Club of Washington, the billionaire called on Trump to tone down his "dangerous" rhetoric aimed at reporters and news publications, AFP reports.
"It's dangerous to demonize the media," Bezos said. "It's dangerous to call the media lowlifes. It's dangerous to say they are the 'enemy of the people.' "
"We live in a society where it's not just the laws of the land that protect us," he added. "It's also the social norms that protect us. It works because we believe the words on that piece of paper."
Bezos, who Forbes lists as the richest person in the world with a net worth over $100 billion, went on to say that the overall health of the media in the U.S. would be "fine," and would survive Trump's consistent criticism and cries of "fake news."
"We are so robust in this country. The media is going to be fine," Bezos said, according to AFP, before paraphrasing Post editor Marty Baron: "The administration may be at war with us, but we are not at war with the administration."
Trump has frequently made Bezos and the Washington Post top targets for his criticism of the press and has often attacked the newspaper and other media outlets for publishing accounts and quotes from anonymous sources inside his White House.
"The Washington Post is constantly quoting “anonymous sources” that do not exist," Trump wrote on Twitter last month. "They are a disgrace to journalism but then again, so are many others!"
The president has also targeted Bezos's business, Amazon Inc., over the company's relationship with the U.S. Postal Service, which Trump claims to be an example of Amazon taking advantage of the federal government.
“I am right about Amazon costing the United States Post Office massive amounts of money for being their Delivery Boy. Amazon should pay these costs (plus) and not have them bourne [sic] by the American Taxpayer. Many billions of dollars. P.O. leaders don’t have a clue (or do they?)!” Trump tweeted in April.