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Jedi Contract: Amazon Rips Trump for ‘Blatant Political Interference’

Amazon.com tore into President Donald Trump Friday for blatantly interfering in the procurement of a new cloud computing system for the Pentagon because of his deep-seated antipathy for the company and its CEO, Jeff Bezos.

Amazon wrote that a decision late Friday to leave the $10 billion contract with Microsoft illustrates “a growing trend where defense officials act based on a desire to please the president, rather than do what’s right.”

The highly competitive JEDI contract was first awarded to Microsoft in October 2019.

After Amazon appealed the initial contract award, it said the White House had ordered the Department of Defense officials not to cooperate with the department’s inspector general. Instead, Trump asserted a “presidential communications privilege” to avoid having senior department officials answer questions about communications between the White House and the Department of Defense about the JEDI contract.

“There is a recurring pattern to the way President Trump behaves when he’s called out for doing something egregious,” Amazon wrote in a blog post. “First he denies doing it, then he looks for ways to push it off to the side, to distract attention from it and delay efforts to investigate it (so people get bored and forget about it). And then he ends up doubling down on the egregious act anyway.”

The company wrote that Trump “reportedly ordered former Secretary Mattis to ‘screw’ Amazon, blatantly interfered in an active procurement, directed his subordinate to conduct an unorthodox ‘review’ prior to a contract award announcement and then stonewalled an investigation into his own political interference.”

It said, “The JEDI contract award creates a dangerous precedent that threatens the integrity of the federal procurement system and the ability of our nation’s warfighters and civil servants to access the best possible technologies.”

Shares of Amazon fell $73.38, or 2.2%, to $3,294.62 in regular trading Friday.

Microsoft fell $3.05, or 1.4%, to $214.25.

Amazon and Microsoft are holdings in Jim Cramer’s
Action Alerts PLUS member club. {The Street}

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