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Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos offered some new insight into how he views his ownership of The Washington Post on Thursday, writing that his stewardship helps "support...American democracy."
The views were expressed in a note Bezos wrote to announce the creation of a $2 billion fund to help fight homelessness and establish high-quality preschools for low-income children.
Bezos bought the Post in 2013. The paper has been a lightning rod of criticism for some conservatives, particularly President Donald Trump, who frequently calls it the 'Bezos Washington Post' on social media. It published a number of investigations into Trump's business dealings and has been generally critical of the president both during his election campaign and since he took office.
Trump has also criticized Amazon directly, accusing it of not paying its fair share of taxes or postal delivery fees. In fact, Amazon collects sales tax on most sales, although some sales by third-party sellers go untaxed, and the U.S. Postal Service has actually benefited from the increase in deliveries that Amazon has spurred.
Bezos instituted a number of changes at the Post, including setting up a paywall and investing in back-end technology, and the paper went from losing money to turning a profit in 2016, Bezos said in a speech last year. Bezos and various editors at the paper have said he does not participate in editorial decisions.
In the announcement, Bezos mentioned several other projects he's funded as well:
In addition to Amazon my areas of focus so far have included investment in the future of our planet and civilization through the development of foundational space infrastructure, support of American democracy through stewardship of the Washington Post, and financial contributions to the dedicated and innovative champions of a variety of causes, from cancer research, to marriage equality, to college scholarships for immigrant students, to decreasing political polarization through cross-partisan support of principled, next-generation military vets running for Congress.
Bezos is scheduled to speak at a public dinner on Thursday night in Washington, D.C.