Tech

Amazon's top spokesperson Jay Carney slams the Trump administration for lack of credibility

Key Points
  • Amazon's top spokesperson Jay Carney criticizes the Trump administration at the GeekWire Summit.
  • Carney, who was President Obama's press secretary, also says the "perception of Amazon is a little different from the reality" when asked about its growing market power.
Jay Carney, Senior Vice President Corporate Affairs, Amazon.
Sipa via AP Images

Amazon's top spokesperson Jay Carney criticized President Donald Trump on stage at a tech conference on Wednesday, while disputing questions of antitrust and the company's growing market power.

At the GeekWire Summit in Seattle, Carney, who was President Barack Obama's press secretary, held no punches against Trump, a frequent critic of the company, saying he doesn't feel like the current administration is working in the best interest of the country.

"Virtually with no exception, everyone I dealt with in [previous] administrations, whether I personally agreed or disagreed with what they thought were the right policy decisions or the right way to approach things, I never doubted that they were patriots," Carney said. "I don't feel that way now."

For example, Carney said Trump's recent attacks on the Federal Reserve was unprecedented. Carney said he was told to "never ever talk about the Fed or interest rates" during his time in the White House, as it could be seen as tampering with the independent agency. He also questioned the current administration's credibility, adding, "I never lied."

"It's not a place that I recognize," Carney said, referring to the Trump White House.

When asked about Amazon's massive market power and the growing scrutiny on potential anti-competitive behavior, Carney said there's a misperception about Amazon's true size. He pointed to the oft-cited figure of Amazon accounting for less than 4% of retail in the U.S. and less than 1% globally. He said Amazon's roughly 40% market share in U.S. e-commerce was less relevant given almost all major retailers are in both online and physical commerce these days.

"What I found around the country, and sometimes around the world, is that the perception of Amazon is a little different from the reality," Carney said.

Carney, who joined Amazon in 2015, is one of the most senior officials at Amazon. He runs both the press and policy teams, and reports directly to CEO Jeff Bezos.


Follow @CNBCtech on Twitter for the latest tech industry news.