Amazon blames Trump for losing $10 billion JEDI cloud contract to Microsoft

Amazon is now calling for the Defense Department to terminate the award and conduct another review of the submitted proposals.
President Trump Hosts American Technology Council Roundtable
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, right, speaks with President Donald Trump and Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella at a meeting of the American Technology Council at the White House on June 19, 2017.Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images file

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By Annie Palmer, CNBC

Amazon says President Donald Trump launched “behind-the-scenes attacks” against the company, which led to it losing out on a major contract for cloud services.

In a heavily redacted, 103-page document made public on Monday, Amazon Web Services lays out why it’s protesting the Department of Defense’s decision to award Microsoft the JEDI (Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure) contract. AWS claims it didn’t win the JEDI contract, which could be worth as much as $10 billion, as a result of Trump’s repeated public and private attacks against Amazon and, specifically, its CEO Jeff Bezos.

“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,” the filing states. “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.”

AWS is now calling for the Defense Department to terminate the award and conduct another review of the submitted proposals.

AWS argues President Trump’s intervention was a “fundamental defect” in the procurement process that made it impossible for the agency to judge a winner “reasonably, consistently, and in a fair and equal manner.” The company cites President Trump’s track record of taking Bezos to task publicly as evidence that Trump “has made no secret of his personal dislike” for Bezos and his ownership of the Washington Post. Trump then “used his office” to prevent AWS from winning the contract when he “intervened directly in the very final phases of the two-year procurement process,” the company claims.

The company also argues the DoD “ignored the plain language of AWS’ proposal” and “glossed over wide gaps” between AWS’ market leading position in the cloud computing industry and Microsoft’s Azure.

Amazon and the Department of Defense were not immediately available for comment. The White House declined to comment.

Last month, Amazon confirmed it would protest the JEDI decision when it filed a lawsuit in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims. The Pentagon announced Oct. 25 that Microsoft had won the contract.

The deal drew immediate scrutiny because President Trump became involved and Trump often criticizes Amazon and Bezos. Trump’s influence over the deal came into focus when a book charting then-Defense Secretary James Mattis’ tenure at the White House claimed he told Mattis to “screw Amazon” out of the contract.

In August, the Pentagon said it wouldn’t award the JEDI contract until it completed a review of the technology. At the time, Dana Deasy, the Pentagon’s chief information officer, said the agency wouldn’t “rush to a decision” until it was confident it picked the best proposal.