Trump Seeks To Scuttle Amazon’s Pentagon Contract

The New York Times reports:

President Trump said today that he was looking “very seriously” at intervening in the hard-fought commercial battle for a $10 billion Pentagon cloud computing contract for which Amazon, a company he has frequently attacked, is seen as the leading contender. For the president to weigh in on the award of a major government contract would be highly unusual, raising questions of improper political influence, but the stakes are high and Amazon’s competitors have been lobbying aggressively.

Mr. Trump has long carried on a one-sided feud with Jeff Bezos, Amazon’s founder, over some of the company’s business activities and also over what the president refers to as “The Amazon Washington Post,” though Mr. Bezos owns the newspaper personally, not as a corporate asset. Asked by reporters about the contract known as JEDI, for Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure, Mr. Trump said he was “getting tremendous complaints about the contract with the Pentagon and with Amazon.”

CNBC reports:

A group of Republican lawmakers wrote a letter asking President Donald Trump not to delay the awarding of a Pentagon cloud contract. Four members of the House Armed Services Committee, including ranking member Rep. Mac Thornberry, R-Texas, said moving forward with the contract was critical to U.S. national security interests.

“We believe it is essential for our national security to move forward as quickly as possible with the award and implementation of this contract,” according to the letter. “It meets only a portion of the Department of Defense’s needs for the cloud, but it is an important first step.”

ABC News reports:

Amazon’s cloud computing arm hired an ally of President Trump to lobby on its behalf amid the bitter battle over which company will receive the Pentagon’s $10 billion “war cloud” contract, according to a recent lobbying disclosure filing.

Amazon Web Services hired Jeff Miller, a political strategist who operates a D.C.-based government relations firm, to lobby members of Congress about “issues related to cybersecurity and technology,” the filing states, noting he was hired last month.