Trump Takes His Revenge on Jeff Bezos

Lev Radin/Pacific Press via ZUMA

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It’s like we’re living in the 19th century again:

The White House has instructed newly installed Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper to reexamine the awarding of the military’s massive cloud-computing contract because of concerns that the deal would go to Amazon, officials close to the decision-making process said….The president’s directive represents a departure from what is usually a scripted bureaucratic process. Trump on several occasions has spoken out against Amazon and its chief executive, Jeff Bezos.

….Oracle has lobbied Trump aggressively on the matter, hoping to appeal to his animosity toward Amazon as well as former defense secretary Jim Mattis, who angered the president when he resigned last year over the administration’s foreign policy decisions. Oracle Executive Vice President Ken Glueck, who runs the company’s policy shop in Washington, said he created a colorful flow chart labeled “A Conspiracy To Create A Ten Year DoD Cloud Monopoly” that portrayed connections among Amazon executives, Mattis and officials from the Obama administration. That graphic made it to Trump’s desk and led to a discussion between the president and his aides, people familiar with the matter said.

This is like a hellscape mashup of kindergarten temper tantrums with vindictive adult corruption. Trump doesn’t like the Washington Post, so he takes revenge on its owner by lashing out at Amazon and telling the Pentagon he doesn’t want them to get any big contracts. Meanwhile, the Oracle folks, obviously having taken the measure of our moron-in-chief, know exactly what buttons to push. Hell, they’re so proud of it—and so sure that Trump will never catch on—that they brag about it publicly.

This is a test for Esper. Will he do the right thing and let the procurement process run normally? Or will he cave in to Trump and invent some reason to reopen the bidding? Tick tick.

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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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