Trump Ordered Mattis to “Screw Amazon” Out of Pentagon Contract, Book Alleges

This is not a real thing Trump said. But it doesn't seem like something he wouldn't say, does it?Shutterstock

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On Friday, the Pentagon awarded a massive cloud computing contract to Microsoft. People had been expecting the contract to go to Amazon and the switcheroo led many to assume President Trump intervened, given his regular complaining about Jeff Bezos and the “Amazon Washington Post.” Quoth said paper:

Few thought Microsoft would beat out Amazon for the massive contract, and legal analysts said the president’s role in the procurement will almost certainly become the subject of litigation.

“It’s crystal clear here that the President of the United States did not want this contract to be awarded to one of the competitors,” said Franklin Turner, an attorney with the law firm McCarter & English. “As a result it’s fairly likely that we will see a number of challenges that the procurement was not conducted on a level playing field.”

Guy Snodgrass, one-time aide to former Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, alleged in a book that was published only recently that Trump had indeed attempted to intervene. Here’s Task & Purpose, via Jake Tapper:

Trump called Mattis in the summer of 2018 and directed him to “screw Amazon” out of a chance to bid on a $10 billion cloud networking contract.

[…]

Snodgrass writes: “Relaying the story to us during Small Group, Mattis said, ‘We’re not going to do that. This will be done by the book, both legally and ethically.”

The Department of Defense defended its decision in a statement yesterday, saying that that everything was mad legit:

“The acquisition process was conducted in accordance with applicable laws and regulations.”

and totally cool and stuff:

All parties, the statement said, “were treated fairly and evaluated consistently with the solicitation’s stated evaluation criteria.”

But not everyone is convinced! 

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IT'S NOT THAT WE'RE SCREWED WITHOUT TRUMP:

"It's that we're screwed with or without him if we can't show the public that what we do matters for the long term," writes Mother Jones CEO Monika Bauerlein as she kicks off our drive to raise $350,000 in donations from readers by July 17.

This is a big one for us. So, as we ask you to consider supporting our team's journalism, we thought we'd slow down and check in about where Mother Jones is and where we're going after the chaotic last several years. This comparatively slow moment is also an urgent one for Mother Jones: You can read more in "Slow News Is Good News," and if you're able to, please support our team's hard-hitting journalism and help us reach our big $350,000 goal with a donation today.

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