Donald Trump ordered Defense Secretary Jim Mattis to sink a $10 billion Pentagon IT contract for Amazon over the fact CEO Jeff Bezos owns the Washington Post, according to a new Mattis biography out on Tuesday.
A new biography of former Defense Secretary James Mattis reports President Donald Trump personally got involved in who would win a major $10 billion contract to provide cloud computing services to the Pentagon, according to the website Task & Purpose, which writes about military issues.
That hotly contested contract was awarded to Microsoft on Friday evening over Amazon in a months-long battle.
Task & Purpose reports the new book, "Holding The Line: Inside Trump's Pentagon with Secretary Mattis" by former Mattis speechwriter and communications director Guy Snodgrass recounts that Mattis always tried to translate Trump's demands into ethical outcomes.
According to Snodgrass' book, Trump called Mattis during summer 2018 and directed him to "screw Amazon" out of the opportunity to bid on the contract.
Task & Purpose obtained an advanced copy of the book. CNN has not yet seen the book.
For several years Trump has voiced his displeasure with Amazon and Jeff Bezos, who also owns The Washington Post. He has accused Amazon of taking advantage of the Postal Service although independent investigations have disagreed with that contention. He also has linked his unfavorable view of Washington Post reporting to Amazon although the Post makes clear it is run separately.
"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 according to Task & Purpose.
The White House did not immediately respond to a CNN request for comment.
As the story says the contract was put on hold a few months ago by new Defense Secretary Peter Esper after Mattis resigned at the end of last year, and lo and behold, this week Microsoft won that contract.
I'm not sad to see the obnoxious Bezos take a $10 billion hit considering how awful his corporate empire is. Maybe his shareholders will sue him over this mess and he'll lose his shirt. But let's not forget that everything Trump does is driven by revenge, and that he's a criminal mobster at heart. Mattis wouldn't do what Trump wanted, so he was forced out and Trump found someone who was more than willing to hurt Bezos over his news stories.
Things haven't changed much since the Gilded Age, have they.