President Donald Trump ordered former Defense Secretary James Mattis to “screw Amazon” out of the chance to bid on a $ 10 billion Pentagon contract, a new biography of Mattis says, according to a report this week by military-focused website Task & Purpose.
The cloud computing services contract, for the Defense Department’s Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI), wasawarded to Microsofton Friday. Trump issued his directive to Mattis during a phone call last year, the biography said,according to Task & Purpose, which received an advance copy. CNET hasn’t reviewed the biography,Holding the Line: Inside Trump’s Pentagon With Secretary Mattis, by Guy Snodgrass, a former speechwriter for Mattis.
Amazon and its CEO, Jeff Bezos, are favorite targets of Trump, whose attacks are widely seen as stemming from unflattering coverage by the Bezos-owned Washington Post.
According to Task & Purpose, the biography says that during a meeting, Mattis told Snodgrass and others about Trump’s order and said, “We’re not going to do that. This will be done by the book, both legally and ethically. “
Neither the White House nor Snodgrass immediately responded to a request for comment. The Defense Department’s Office of Inspector General declined to comment. Mattis didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment made through General Dynamics, where he sits on the board of directors.