Amazon.com Inc.’s top spokesman Jay Carney criticized the administration of President Donald Trump on Wednesday, questioning the patriotism and honesty of the current White House and criticizing it for trying to influence the Federal Reserve.
In a 30-minute interview at the GeekWire Summit in Seattle, Carney drew distinctions between the current administration and those of former Presidents Barack Obama, George Bush and Bill Clinton. Carney used to be Obama’s press secretary and worked as a political reporter before that.
“Virtually with no exception, everyone I dealt with in those 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,” he said. “I don’t feel that way now.”
Carney also said he never lied on behalf of the White House and “there doesn’t seem to be that standard today.”
Carney, who joined Amazon in 2015, frequently tweets about his time in the Obama administration. But Amazon itself tries to keep out of hot-button political issues. Carney’s comments on Wednesday risk stoking tension between Amazon and Trump. The president has long denounced Amazon Chief Executive Officer Jeff Bezos in tweets, criticizing him for the rates the e-commerce giant pays the U.S. Postal Service to deliver packages and Bezos’s ownership of what Trump calls “the Amazon Washington Post.”
On Wednesday, Carney added that it was “drummed into his head” as a government official not to mention interest rates or decisions made by the Federal Reserve. “I guess they didn’t get that memo in the current White House,” he said. Trump has railed against the Fed this year for not cutting interest rates more.