Republicans are demanding that Amazon prove the Pentagon relationship

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Republicans question Amazon’s relationship with the Pentagon after recently released emails show that defense officials praised technology leaders seeking a $ 10 billion deal during the Trump administration.

On tuesday New York Times reported from previously unpublished emails showing that Pentagon officials are recommending Amazon executives as the company seeks a lucrative defense deal in 2017-2018. A joint enterprise defense infrastructure project, or JEDI, began looking for a technology company that would move the Department of Defense’s data networks to the cloud.

In one case Times reports that Jim Mattis, former Trump Secretary of Defense, traveled to Silicon Valley to meet with executives from companies like Apple, Amazon, and Google during this trip. During the trip, Mattis was made “uncomfortable,” while Amazon representatives aggressively put their cloud service products on him. Sally Donnelly, Mattis’ former adviser, also called Bezos “the geniuses of our time.” Donnelly, who later sent Mattis a list of reasons why he should meet Bezos, had previously worked for a consulting firm where his clients were Amazon.

“This is exactly what we are concerned about, and it contradicts Amazon’s claim that there is nothing to see here,” Ken Ken Buck (R-CO) and Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) said in a joint statement on Tuesday. “It has become increasingly clear that Amazon used market power and paid connections to circumvent ethical boundaries and avoid competition in trying to win this agreement.”

Microsoft won the multi-billion dollar contract in 2019 after closely following an inter-Amazon tender. In the months leading up to the announcement of the winner of the agreement, former President Donald Trump criticized Amazon founder and former CEO Jeff Bezos, accusing Bezos-owned Washington Post unfair media coverage.

But earlier this month, the Department of Defense announced it it would cancel the contract in the midst of an ongoing legal battle, claiming that Trump had wrongly intervened in the tender. With the termination of the previous agreement, Amazon will have a second chance to win the $ 10 billion deal. But Republicans in Washington are demanding the company prove its Pentagon relationship in light of newly released emails.

“Now, more than ever, we have to ask Amazon, swearing, whether it tried to wrongly affect the largest federal treaty in history,” lawmakers wrote.

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