Fox News’ Shep Smith was quick to pounce on President Donald Trump Tuesday, who followed up his series of tweets criticizing Amazon with a rant about how the online retailer costs the United States Postal Service and American taxpayers “billions of dollars a year.”
The president, speaking at the White House Tuesday, seemed to be referring to “last-mile deliveries,” in which Amazon, along with other delivery giants like Fed Ex and UPS, drop packages off at post offices and use local USPS drivers to deliver parcels to the door.
But, as Smith pointed out, the postal service, which has faced revenue declines for years with the rise of email and fewer individuals sending first-class mail, says it actually makes money by delivering packages for Amazon and other delivery services.
“As for taxpayers,” Smith continued, “the post office’s own website points out, and I quote, ‘The postal service receives no tax dollars for operating expenses.'” Instead, the service “relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations.”
USPS is described as a partially independent agency, or a quasi-governmental agency, as The Wall Street Journal pointed out. Much of its financial woes over the years have stemmed from changing consumer behavior and a 2006 mandate from Congress that the service prepay benefits for future retired employees, according to NPR.
Still, Trump claimed Amazon was responsible for the post office’s financial troubles. He added, “A report just came out. They said $1.47, I believe, or about that for every time they deliver a package, the United States government, meaning the post office, loses $1.47.”
Smith fact-checked Trump some more, saying the number the president cited likely came from a Citigroup study released last year that showed the postal service was charging $1.46 below market rates for package delivery.
“But our researchers point out, if that discount exists, it’s not just for Amazon ― it’s a bulk rate discount,” he said.
Turning to Fox News reporter John Roberts, Smith continued, “There is a great deal of confusion or something here regarding Amazon and the post office because none of that was true.”
Take a look at Smith’s response in the video above.