Defense Secretary Jim Mattis had a secret meeting with a top Amazon cloud sales executive in 2017 before the Pentagon announced a $10 billion cloud computing contract that critics say was designed to be fulfilled only by Amazon, Fox News’ Tucker Carlson reported on Friday.
Earlier this month, The Intercept reported:
Amazon Web Services and Microsoft are now the two finalists to win the highly contested $10 billion contract for what is known as the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure, or JEDI. The deal, one of the largest federal contracts in U.S. history, would pay one company to provide cloud computing services in support of Defense Department operations around the world.
The Intercept further noted that there are allegations that former DOD official Deap Ubhi, who left to work for Amazon in 2017, “worked on the preliminary research for the JEDI program in the late summer and fall of 2017” and was “also engaged in a secret job negotiation with Amazon for months, complete with salary discussions, offers of signing bonuses, and lucrative stock options.”
During his program on Friday, Carlson reported:
Well, the Department of Defense exists to protect America from foreign threats and does a great job with that, thank God, but it’s also a massive consumer of tax dollars, the biggest really. And for that reason, concerns about corruption are always there. There’s reason to believe that over the past couple of years some at the Pentagon have worked to enrich Amazon, already the world’s richest company. In 2017, the Pentagon announced a $10 billion cloud computing contract. According to critics, the contract wasn’t actually competitive, it was designed from the very start to be fulfilled by Amazon and only by Amazon.
Several of Defense Secretary Jim Mattis’ aides had prior professional ties to Amazon. A key official working on the Pentagon’s cloud computing program was carrying out secret job negotiations with Amazon even as he worked on the Pentagon’s program. And we can report exclusively tonight on this program that in March 2017, before the cloud computing contract was announced, Secretary Mattis had a secret dinner in London with Amazon’s top cloud sales executive, Teresa Carlson (emphasis added).
A source told The Daily Wire that Carlson referred to Mattis’ dinner with the Amazon official as “secret” because Teresa Carlson’s name was redacted from itinerary records, which were later unredacted.
Carlson then cut to a segment with Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC) where he asked Meadows about the secret meeting that Mattis had with the Amazon official.
“So a detail that bothered me and correct me if I’m getting this wrong, Secretary Mattis met with this Amazon official but then the Pentagon tried to keep that meeting secret as if it were some national security secret, which of course it’s not,” Carlson said. “Why wouldn’t they be open about that?”
“Well, when you look at a procurement process, they should be open and transparent and competitive and when you look at it keeping you know somebody as high as General Mattis meeting with a potential bidder of a contract of $10 billion and even beyond that there are some suggestions the Department of Defense inspector general is looking at this in terms of possible conflict of interest,” Meadows responded. “So whether it be with General Mattis or with other individuals, what we want to make sure of is that the American people get the best value for their dollar and you can’t do that if you’re designing a contract to go just to one bidder.”