Barack Obama has a giant new backer: Jeff Bezos.
The Amazon founder and world’s second richest man is donating a whopping $100 million to the previous president’s charity, the Obama Foundation mentioned Monday.
The donation comes as Amazon seeks to fend off challenges from the Biden administration.
As a part of the donation, Bezos has requested that Obama rename the plaza at his controversial Chicago presidential heart in honor of former Congressman and civil rights advocate John R. Lewis, in keeping with the Obama Foundation.
In a launch despatched to The Post, Bezos gushed that he’s “thrilled to support President and Mrs. Obama and their Foundation in its mission to train and inspire tomorrow’s leaders.”
Bezos’ $100 million donation — which represents lower than 0.1 % of his estimated $210 billion fortune — is the most important particular person contribution ever acquired by Obama’s basis. It’s additionally one-fifth of the reported $500 million Bezos just lately spent on a yacht.
The donation was organized by Jay Carney, a former Obama press secretary and Amazon’s present public coverage and public relations chief, in keeping with Puck News, which first reported the donation.
Obama and Bezos spoke instantly to one another earlier this year and have sometimes seen one another socially, the outlet reported.
Bezos’ buddying with Obama comes as Amazon clashes bitterly with the Biden administration over antitrust points. Lina Khan, the Biden-appointed chief of the Federal Trade Commission, has a protracted historical past of blasting what she says are anticompetitive practices by Amazon and is reportedly probing the company’s $8.5 billion buy of film studio MGM.
Citing previous criticisms Khan had manufactured from Bezos’ empire, Amazon demanded in June that she recuse herself from any FTC probes of the company.
Amazon can be attempting to fend off legislators in Congress, a few of whom are chomping on the bit to tackle Big Tech by way of payments that might cease Amazon from favoring its personal merchandise in search outcomes and even break up the company altogether.
The Obama Foundation was obscure about what Bezos’ money shall be spent on, writing that the money will give “the next generation of emerging leaders… the necessary tools, resources, and training needed to be the change they want to see in the world, just as Congressman Lewis did.”
The Obama Foundation’s $500 million presidential heart on Chicago’s South Side, nonetheless, has attracted backlash from some residents, who’ve blasted the previous president for chopping down timber in a historic park and fostering gentrification.
Obama has defended the middle, saying, “The overwhelming majority of the community has been not just okay with it, but are hugely enthusiastic about it.”
Other tech moguls who’ve donated to the Obama Foundation embrace Bezos’ ex-wife Mackenzie Scott, Bill and Melinda Gates and ex-Facebook president and Napster founder Sean Parker.