Jeff BezosSource: Amazon

What you need to know

  • Amazon believes that President Trump intervened with the granting of the $10 billion JEDI contract.
  • President Trump has publicly expressed negative opinions of Amazon's Jeff Bezos in the past.
  • The Pentagon states that "There were no external influences on the source selection decision."

A new filing by Amazon states that the company believes President Donald Trump intervened with the process to grant a potentially $10 billion Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI) contract. The contract was granted to Microsoft in October, but people at Amazon believe that President Trump's feelings towards Amazon's Jeff Bezos affected the decision. Amazon called for the U.S. Department of Defense to terminate the awarded contract and conduct another review of proposals.

CNBC reports on the filing from Amazon and summarizes its heavily redacted contents. The filing states that "The question is whether the President of the United States should be allowed to use the budget of DoD to pursue his own personal and political ends." It continues, stating, "DoD's substantial and pervasive errors are hard to understand and impossible to assess separate and apart from the President's repeatedly expressed determination to, in the words of the President himself, 'screw Amazon.' Basic justice requires re-evaluation of proposals and a new award decision." The "screw Amazon" remark refers to a statement from the book "Holding The Line: Inside Trump's Pentagon with Secretary Mattis" in which Mattis alleges that Donald Trump told Mattis to "screw Amazon" out of the $10 billion contract.

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Amazon believes that President Trump's negative feelings towards Bezos affected the contract process. President Trump has made several negative public remarks about Bezos, who also owns the Washington Post.

Pentagon spokesperson, Elissa Smith, denies external influences affected the granting of the contract, stating, "This source selection decision was made by an expert team of career public servants and military officers from across the Department of Defense and in accordance with DOD's normal source-selection process." Smith continues, adding, "There were no external influences on the source selection decision. 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."

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