Donald Trump told Defense Secretary James Mattis to “screw Amazon” out of a lucrative Pentagon contract out of spite for the company’s owner, a new book claims.
The yet-to-be-released book exploring Mattis‘ time as secretary of defense sheds light on the lengths that Trump was reportedly willing to go to spite his enemies, including pushing the Pentagon away from its longtime relationship with Amazon. As CNBC noted, the book claimed that Trump pushed for the Pentagon’s Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure contract to go to Microsoft instead of Amazon. The deal was announced on Friday, giving a major boost to Microsoft’s stock, CNBC noted.
Amazon was seen as the favorite to continue its relationship with the Pentagon, but Trump announced this summer that he was going to investigate the bidding process and see if there was any impropriety in it. The book from Guy Snodgrass, a former speechwriter to Mattis, said that Trump personally told Mattis to “screw Amazon” out of its chance to bid on the contract.
As Snodgrass wrote in Holding The Line: Inside Trump’s Pentagon with Secretary Mattis, the order got some pushback from Mattis.
“Relaying the story to us during Small Group, Mattis said, ‘We’re not going to do that. This will be done by the book, both legally and ethically,'” Snodgrass wrote.
Donald Trump has frequently spoken out against Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, who also owns The Washington Post. Trump has even been accused of colluding with the National Enquirer to smear Bezos after a story revealed that Bezos was in a relationship with a woman before his divorce was finalized.
Scott Galloway, a professor at NYU’s Stern School of Business and an expert on Amazon, said there appeared to be evidence that Trump was coordinating directly with American Media Inc. — the parent company of the National Enquirer — in the company’s threats to expose nude images of Bezos stolen from his cell phone.
Trump had been previously accused of working with AMI to keep potentially damaging stories from reaching the public, and Galloway said in an appearance on MSNBC that this appeared to be the case against with Jeff Bezos.
“A key tell among law enforcement officials is when someone is driving 45 miles an hour in the fast lane, that they’re hiding something,” Galloway said in his appearance, via Raw Story. “The president’s silence on this is eerie.”
“He tweeted about Bezos calling him ‘Bozo’ January 4th — but this is someone who never misses an opportunity to mock someone he perceives as an adversary via Twitter and he hasn’t said anything and I think that’s — that’s a tell here.”