Amazon in bid to force Trump to take the stand over claim he told officials to ‘screw’ them out of government contract
Amazon is demanding witness testimony from President Trump on whether he ordered officials to ‘screw’ the company out of a lucrative government contract.
In an escalation of its court dispute with the Pentagon, the tech giant said the president should be questioned about his alleged efforts to interfere with spending decisions ‘to advance his personal agenda’.
Microsoft was awarded the £7.7billion ‘JEDI’ cloud computing contract, which had also been sought by Amazon.
President Trump has been a vocal critic of Amazon and founder Jeff Bezos, who also owns the Washington Post, a newspaper Trump frequently claims is biased against him
Amazon claims it was better qualified but that Trump personally interfered to prevent it from winning the work.
The president has been a vocal critic of the company and founder Jeff Bezos, who also owns the Washington Post, a newspaper Trump frequently claims is biased against him.
Before he was elected, Trump told a political rally that Bezos had bought the Post to give Amazon more ‘political influence’.
‘That’s not right,’ he told the rally in 2016. ‘And believe me, if I become president, oh do they have problems. They are going to have such problems.’
Amazon has pointed to the remarks in its lawsuit against the US Government. It has also referenced a book by a former Pentagon staff member which claims Trump ordered former defence secretary Jim Mattis to ‘screw Amazon’ and prevent it from winning the JEDI contract.
Mattis is said to have dismissed the instruction. But his successor, Mark Esper, later announced he would ‘re-examine’ the approach to the contract, with the work later handed to Microsoft.