New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (D.) suggested Friday that Amazon choosing to abandon its plans to build a second headquarters in the city was influenced by CEO Jeff Bezos' highly public extramarital affair.
"I think we can all say that unusual things were happening within the Amazon family at that moment in time," de Blasio said during an appearance on MSNBC's Morning Joe. "And that was said politely. There was clearly some unusual factors happening. We know who the ultimate decision-maker is."
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"You think his affair had something to do with it?" guest Donny Deutsch cut in.
"I only am saying it was an unusual environment," de Blasio said, smiling.
For the next several minutes, the panel tried to press de Blasio on his statement, but he continued to coyly insist he wasn't implying anything specific.
"You believe Jeff Bezos’s affair is somehow—" host Willie Geist started saying.
"No, I didn’t say that," de Blasio said immediately.
"Then what are you suggesting?" Geist asked.
"I said it was an unusual environment, meaning there were a lot of cross pressures, there were a lot of things going on," de Blasio said.
"Like what?" Geist asked.
"I, uh, I, again, you’re going to figure it out yourself," he responded.
"But if it's a fact-based discussion, what are the facts that support that statement?" guest Susan Del Percio asked, to further dodging from de Blasio.
As the segment ended, Geist tried again. "I just want to nail down one more time; you believe that part of the reason, perhaps, this deal unraveled is because of what was happening internally at Amazon with the CEO?" he pressed.
"There was a lot of turmoil, let's just put it like that," de Blasio said.
"But Mr. Mayor, you clearly are suggesting [the turmoil was the CEO's affair]," Deutsch said.
"I’ve just said what I’ve said," de Blasio finished.