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March 24, 2019

Jeff Bezos’s canoodling scotched the New York Amazon project, Mayor de Blasio suggests

March 15, 2019
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio gives a new explanation during MSNBC’s Morning Joe on Amazon’s decision to pull out of having a Long Island City campus. (Hans Pennink / AP)

Mayor de Blasio has found a new explanation for why Amazon pulled out of Long Island City: CEO Jeff Bezos’s torrid — and well photographed — affair.

“I think we could all say that unusual things were happening within the Amazon family at that moment in time — and that was said politely. There was clearly some unusual factors happening. We know who the ultimate decision maker is,” de Blasio said under questioning about the deal on MSNBC’s Morning Joe.

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That would seem to be a clear reference to Bezos — who in the weeks before the deal said he was being blackmailed by the National Enquirer, which had threatened to publish crotch shots he’d sent his mistress, Lauren Sanchez. Bezos and his wife MacKenzie are divorcing.

But when de Blasio was asked to stand by his “politely” made claim, he squirmed.

“Mr. Mayor, you floated something earlier that we’ve got to pin you down on — you believe Jeff Bezos’s affair is somehow —” host Willie Geist began.

“No, I didn’t say that. I said it’s an unusual environment, meaning there are a lot cross-pressures, there was a lot of things going on.”

“Like what?” Geist asked.

“I — again, you’re going to figure it out yourself,” the mayor flailed.

“I think I have figured it out,” Geist responded, before the conversation devolved into cross-talk.

Geist tried one more time to nail down de Blasio — again asking if the mayor believed “part of the reason perhaps this deal unraveled” was because of the CEO’s problems.

“There was a lot of turmoil. There was a lot of turmoil,” de Blasio said.

“The turmoil was an affair the CEO had,” Geist responded.

“Over many things. Over many things,” de Blasio said. “And a decision was made in a very arbitrary manner.”

“I’ve just said what I said,” he added.

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