Amazon says Trump's 'improper pressure' doomed Pentagon bid

Joanna Estrada
December 10, 2019

Amazon, which is the market leader in cloud computing services, was long considered the clear frontrunner for the deal, but legal challenges and investigations, including an allegation that a Pentagon official, who used to work for Amazon, was unfairly biased towards his former employer, led to reviews which held up the process.

Washington, DC (CNN Business) Amazon alleged on Monday that President Donald Trump abused his position to apply "improper pressure" on Pentagon decision-makers to stop the company from winning a military contract worth billions of dollars.

Amazon argues in a lawsuit unsealed Monday in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims that the decision should be revisited because of "substantial and pervasive errors" and Trump's interference.

"We've got to get this right, so we are not going to rush to a decision".

Amazon Web Services has been the industry leader in moving businesses and other institutions onto its cloud - a term used to describe banks of servers in remote data centers that can be accessed from nearly anywhere.

Amazon's complaints were spurred by reports that Trump wanted to "scuttle" the bidding process for JEDI, and from a forthcoming book that alleges Trump ordered former Defense Secretary James Mattis to "screw Amazon" out of the deal a year ago.

A recent book on the tenure of Esper's predecessor James Mattis, written by his speechwriter Guy Snodgrass, contends that Trump told Mattis to "screw Amazon" out of the contract.

The Pentagon's chief information officer Dana Deasy in August said the DoD would not rush to a decision regarding the JEDI contract, which was only between Microsoft and Amazon.

The heavily redacted complaint said Trump's motive was to "harm his perceived political enemy-Jeffrey P. Bezos, founder and CEO of AWS's parent company, and owner of the Washington Post".

"The department is confident in the JEDI award and remains focused on getting this critical capability into the hands of our warfighters as quickly and efficiently as possible", Smith said. The newspaper is among USA media outlets most critical in its coverage of Trump and his administration.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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