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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We have an ambitious $350,000 online fundraising goal this month and it's truly crunch time: About 15 percent of our yearly online giving usually comes in during the final week of the year, and in "No Cute Headlines or Manipulative BS," we explain why we simply can't afford to come up short right now.

The bottom line: Corporations and powerful people with deep pockets will never sustain the type of journalism Mother Jones exists to do. And advertising or profit-driven ownership groups will never make time-intensive, in-depth reporting viable.

That's why donations big and small make up 74 percent of our budget this year. There is no backup to keep us going, no alternate revenue source, no secret benefactor. If readers don’t donate, we won’t be here. It's that simple.

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