Tech giant Oracle has reportedly lobbied President Donald Trump to squander Amazon & # 39; s chances of winning a 10-year Pentagon contract of $ 10 billion using a flow chart with a & # 39; conspiracy & # 39 ;
Amazon is a finalist with Microsoft to win the huge contract that the Pentagon is preparing for a cloud computing system known as Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure or JEDI.
In recent weeks, White House officials have shown Trump a chart made by Oracle's best Washington lobbyist, Kenneth Glueck, an executive vice president at the company, according to CNN.
The graph, titled & # 39; A conspiracy to create a ten-year DoD Cloud monopoly & # 39 ;, shows a web of arrows with dollar signs and hearts that represent the number of former Pentagon officials, current Amazon employees, and executives and consultants who work on behalf of Amazon. a copy shared by Axios reporter Jonathan Swan.
Trump is a frequent critic of Amazon, the e-commerce retailer of Jeff Bezos (above)
Oracle was removed from the bidding competition for JEDI in April, a movement that has bitterly protested the company.
Oracle & # 39; s CEO, Safra Catz, served on the Trump transition team, ate at the White House and was once considered for a job in administration.
Last week Trump said the administration will review the JEDI contract & # 39; for a very long time & # 39 ;, citing & # 39; huge complaints & # 39; He has heard about the bidding process.
Trump said at a unrelated event at the White House that companies that are no longer in the race to get the deal have filed complaints about the process.
Republican lawmakers who were struggling with the Pentagon's handling of the contract also brought their concerns directly to the president.
& # 39; I am getting huge complaints about the contract with the Pentagon and with Amazon, & # 39; Trump said when asked about this during an Oval Office performance with the Dutch prime minister. & # 39; They say it wasn't a competitive bid. & # 39;
& # 39; We take it very seriously, & # 39; said the president. & # 39; It is a very large contract, one of the largest contracts that have ever had to do with the cloud and many other things. & # 39;
During an event last week with Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte (above), Trump criticized the $ 10 billion JEDI contact bidding process
Trump said that some of the & # 39; largest companies in the world & # 39; were among the complainants about Amazon, and he said the administration & # 39; very good & # 39; will look at the contract because & # 39; I have had very few things that complain so much & # 39 ;.
Trump is a frequent critic of Amazon, the e-commerce retailer of Jeff Bezos.
Bezos also owns The Washington Post and Trump criticizes the newspaper's coverage of the administration.
The President's remarks have introduced new uncertainty into a project that, according to Defense, is vital to maintain the technological advantage of the US Army over opponents.
Whatever company wins the contract, the monumental task is to store and process huge amounts of classified information. The Pentagon says it will enable troops to promote the use of artificial intelligence in warfare.
Oracle and IBM were eliminated from an earlier round of competition, making Amazon and Microsoft the two finalists.
Amazon and Microsoft refused to comment on Trump's comments. Oracle did not immediately respond to a mailed request for comment.
IBM said in a statement last week that it has & # 39; long expressed serious concerns about the structure of the JEDI procurement & # 39; and continues to believe that the Ministry of Defense can best be served by a multi-cloud strategy that uses multiple cloud systems managed by different companies.
IBM did not say whether it had shared those concerns with the White House. Both IBM and Oracle formally protested against the process last year.
A federal judge threw a second challenge from Oracle last week that the bidding process had increased in favor of Amazon, and some in Congress have raised concerns about potential conflicts of interest.
Oracle CEO Safra Catz (far right) can be seen at a transition meeting in Trump Tower in December 2016. Oracle is reportedly lobbying to return to the JEDI bidding process
Florida Republican Senator Marco Rubio sent a letter to the White House National Security Adviser, John Bolton, last week asking that the Pentagon postpone the award of the contract, stating that the trial was suffering from a lack of & # 39; competition & # 39; and the use of & # 39; random criteria and standards & # 39; for bidders & # 39; who can waste taxpayers dollars and & # 39; cannot provide our war hunters with the best technological solutions & # 39 ;.
Rubio had also expressed concern about plans to award the contract to a single supplier.
The Pentagon has said it plans to award the contract on August 23.
Rep. James Langevin, a Rhode Island Democrat who is part of the House Armed Services Committee, said last week that he has full confidence in the Ministry of Defense cloud strategy and that it is important that the project can progress.
Langevin said in an email statement that the & # 39; totally inappropriate & # 39; would be for Trump or a member of Congress to get involved in the tender process, especially since the courts and the Government Accountability Office – the watchdog for Congress – have rejected the challenges of the Pentagon's plans.
Daniel Goure, vice-president of the Lexington Institute, a defense-oriented think tank in Virginia, said it is not uncommon for Trump to be publicly concerned about a defense equipment contract, such as Trump weeks before taking over the Boeing contract for a updated version of Air Force One.
But Goure said it is rare that Trump actually reverses a Pentagon decision, especially one that is supported by a legal opinion.
& # 39; I would be incredibly surprised if the president decides to unilaterally cancel this & # 39 ;, says Goure, whose institute receives funding from Amazon. & # 39; I think as soon as he sees the process, or the process is explained to him and the document explained to him, I think this will all disappear. & # 39;
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