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Amazon Accuses Pentagon of Awarding Military Contract to Microsoft Because of ‘Improper Pressure’ From Trump

U.S. President Donald Trump and Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft Corporation listen as Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon speaks during an American Technology Council roundtable at the White House in Washington, U.S., June 19, 2017. (Carlos Barria/Reuters)

Amazon is accusing the Defense Department of capitulating to President Trump in awarding a major military cloud computing contract to Microsoft over Amazon, a frequent target of Trump’s criticism.

In a legal complaint published Monday, Amazon Web Services cited “improper pressure from President Donald J. Trump” as the force behind the Pentagon’s decision to give Microsoft’s Azure the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure contract.

The e-commerce behemoth also pointed to “egregious errors” by the Defense Department in evaluating the bids of the two cloud computing companies for the contract, worth up to $10 billion, and demanded that the Pentagon negate Microsoft’s contract in the interest of “basic justice” and reconsider awarding it to Amazon.

Amazon said Trump’s consistent “public and behind-the-scenes attacks” against the company and CEO Jeff Bezos constituted a “fundamental defect” in the process and prevented the Pentagon from awarding the contract in a “reasonably, consistently, and in a fair and equal manner.”

The president “intervened directly in the very final phases of the two-year procurement process” and “used his office” to serve his “own personal and political ends” and stop Amazon from winning the contract, Amazon Web Services claimed.

“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 103-page complaint reads. “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.’”

Trump has been vocal about his dislike of Bezos and his vast company, accusing Amazon of “getting away with murder on tax” and branding the Washington Post, owned by Bezos, a “lobbyist for Amazon.”

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