- President Donald Trump reportedly wants to “scuttle” the bidding process for the Joint Enterprise Defence Infrastructure (JEDI) contract and start over, CNN reported.
- Microsoft and Amazon are the finalists for this $US10 billion cloud contract, which would supply the Department of Defence with cloud services. Amazon is widely favoured to win.
- CNN also reported that White House aides have also shown Trump a document that insinuates that Amazon is involved in a conspiracy to win the deal – and that document is identical to one created by Oracle Executive Vice President Ken Glueck.
- Oracle was knocked out of contention earlier in the process and recently lost a legal challenge alleging improprieties on Amazon’s part.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
President Donald Trump reportedly wants to “scuttle” the bidding process for a $US10 billion cloud contract with the Pentagon and start over, CNN reported.
“Trump wants to scuttle this process and possibly reopen it back up again with extra guardrails,” a source close to the White House told CNN.
The deal in question is the Joint Enterprise Defence Infrastructure (JEDI), in which a single vendor will provide cloud infrastructure to the Department of Defence over the next 10 years. Amazon Web Services and Microsoft are the finalists for the award, though Amazon is widely expected to walk away the winner.
CNN also reported that White House aides have shown Trump a document insinuating a conspiracy to award the deal to Amazon. That document, a chart titled “A Conspiracy To Create A Ten Year DoD Cloud Monopoly,” is said to feature links to images of Amazon executives and employees, as well as dollar signs and even a heart, CNN reported.
— Jonathan Swan (@jonathanvswan) July 26, 2019
Notably, the report also said the document was identical to one created by Ken Glueck, the executive vice president at Oracle and the database giant’s chief Washington lobbyist. Glueck has a blown-up version of the chart hanging on his office window at Oracle’s Washington, DC, office, according to CNN.
Oracle declined comment. Business Insider has also reached out to Amazon Web Services, the White House, and the Department of Defence for comment, but they did not immediately respond.
Trump could intervene
Oracle, which was knocked out of contention for the deal at an earlier stage, recently lost a legal challenge alleging that the JEDI bidding process was “riddled with improprieties” that largely favoured Amazon. That loss seemed to clear the way for either Amazon or Microsoft to officially win the deal, with the actual contract expected to be awarded in August.
However, the possible intervention of Trump would throw the outcome of the deal into question once more.
Trump has already demanded more information about JEDI, and promised to look into the deal after receiving letters on the matter from lawmakers, including Sen. Marco Rubio.
However, there are some on Capitol Hill who want to see the process go through unimpeded: Four Republican lawmakers recently wrote to Trump that delaying the JEDI award could harm national security.
Industry experts recently told Business Insider that if Trump does decide to personally intervene, it could result in both Microsoft and Amazon coming out as losers in the JEDI deal.
Some of those experts have speculated that Trump’s public feud with Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos – who also owns The Washington Post, which has published coverage critical of the president – might have something to do with Trump’s willingness to look into the deal.
“The president has made his feelings about Amazon, Jeff Bezos, and The Washington Post well-known, and he may find the prospect of denying Amazon a $US10 billion contract irresistible,” Christopher Cornillie, a Bloomberg Government analyst, recently told Business Insider.
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