Amazon claims it lost out on a $10 billion defense contract because one man hated the company: Donald Trump.
In the redacted complaint from its previously filed lawsuit, released Monday, Amazon said it lost the coveted JEDI (Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure) contract because of “improper pressure from President Donald J. Trump, who launched public and behind-the-scenes attacks to steer the JEDI Contract away from AWS to harm his perceived political enemy—Jeffrey P. Bezos, founder and CEO of AWS’ parent company, Amazon.com, Inc. (‘Amazon’), and owner of the Washington Post.”
“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,'” read the complaint.
Given how often Trump has criticized Bezos and Amazon, there are certainly plenty of examples the tech giant could pick as proof of this bias, going back to even before Trump won the election.
Washington Post employees want to go on strike because Bezos isn’t paying them enough. I think a really long strike would be a great idea. Employees would get more money and we would get rid of Fake News for an extended period of time! Is @WaPo a registered lobbyist?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 17, 2018
Trump even threatened to intervene in the bidding process in July when Amazon seemed like the heavy favorite.
Amazon’s complaint outlines all the ways it feels the DoD was unfair in its evaluation of its JEDI proposal — though it should be noted many of the reasons are redacted for, one assumes, security reasons given the sensitive nature of access to the Pentagon’s cloud.
The end result, according to Amazon: “The blatant, inexplicable errors in DoD’s award to Microsoft make plain that President Trump’s message had its intended and predictable effect.” Citing heavily from Trump’s own words, as well as multiple media reports, Amazon lays out a pretty damning case.
Of course, whether or not the courts actually care is another matter entirely, and it’s doubtful that Bezos and Amazon will solicit much sympathy, seeing as some tech workers didn’t want their work being used by the U.S. military.
A Pentagon spokesperson denied to CNBC that there were any “external influences” involved in the original award.