WASHINGTON – As the Department of Defense prepares to bid for cloud-computing work that could generate billions of dollars for Amazon, members of Congress are raising new questions about the company’s efforts to win a 10 10 billion contract during the Trump administration.

Previously unleashed emails show that Pentagon officials praised several tech executives in 2017 and 2018, whose companies were particularly interested in the original agreement with Amazon, while concerns about the company’s use appear to have been globes, according to emails, other documents and Interview.

Republicans, two legislators who have pushed for a curb on the dominance of Amazon and other tech companies in consumer markets, are seizing emails as evidence that Amazon is unfairly using its influence in competition for taxpayer-funded contracts.

Colorado Representative Ken Buck and Utah Senator Mike Lee called on Amazon to swear in “whether it has tried to exert undue influence on the largest federal agreement in history,” the so-called Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure Amazon did not respond to requests for comment.

Whatever influence Amazon had in the Trump-era Pentagon had a limited impact. And the company also had very high-level opponents: President Donald J. Trump, who at the time regularly attacked the chief executive of Amazon, the owner of the Washington Post, Jeff Bezos. Amazon eventually lost the Jedi deal, which was awarded to Microstoft in 2019, ignoring questions about whether Mr. Trump’s hostility to Amazon played a role in that result.

But in the wake of Amazon’s victory, the Pentagon canceled an agreement earlier this month amid a contentious legal battle over the award between Amazon, Microsoft .ft and other tech companies. The Department of Defense immediately announced that it was launching an improved cloud program that could generate deals for Amazon, MicroSt.

Newly published emails and interviews with people familiar with the events described give a glimpse of the evolving relationship between the Department of Defense and major technology companies as the Pentagon shifts more focus from aircraft, tanks and other hardware to software and artificial intelligence initiatives. Intelligence and machine learning.

They show that in the months leading up to the JEDI fight, top Pentagon officials and Silicon Valley officials have been engaged in court battles that have led to some companies gaining high-level access that would later show interest in the deal. Tech executives used Kess to request Jim Mattis, Mr. Trump’s first Secretary of Defense, who adopted cloud-based technology and, in at least one case, promoted his company’s technology.

During a trip to the West Coast in the summer of 2017 to meet with executives from Apple Paul, Amazon and Google, Mr. Mattis grew uneasy when the company’s Seattle headquarters was showcased with a display of Amazon’s cloud-computing products, expecting a more general discussion of Cloud Technol of G, documents and a former Pentagon official familiar with the meeting. .

The former official said that Shri. Bezos, with whom Mr. Mattis had only one visit, and many of his lieutenants, and his responsibility was to sell Amazon Web Services or AWS products to the government through the executive.

Briefing materials prepared for Mr. Mattis stated before the meeting that “it will not become a sales pitch,” insisting “no”.

But soon after the meeting, an aide Mr. Mattis wrote in an email to another Pentagon official that the session “felt like a morph in an AWS sales pitch.” Mr. Mattis “was nice and entertaining, but I didn’t get a good sound out of it,” the assistant wrote, adding that one pre-performance session with Mr. Bezos “seemed to go very well” and Amazon’s founder and defense secretary “clicked on a personal level” It seemed to do. “

The contest for the Jedi contract quickly bogged down in a bitter feud. IBM opposed the request for a proposal, suggesting that it favored Amazon, while Oracle accused Pentagon officials of conflicting interests with Amazon. When the agreement went to Microsoft Microsoft instead, Amazon claimed to block it, arguing that the Trump administration interfered with the agreement process because of Mr. Trump’s hostility to Mr. Bezos.

An investigation by the Department of Defense’s inspector general has led serious officials about Amazon and the Pentagon to dismiss the company for improperly tilting the contract process.

In a report last year, the Inspector General concluded that the outcome of the JEDI agreement was not affected by any Mr. Trump’s attack on Amazon or connections between the company and the Department of Defense.

But the report excludes expressions of concern about the “sales pitch” demonstration for Mr. Matisse at Amazon headquarters, as well as the language of an email exchange in which a Pentagon official told two close advisers. Mtis said the Secretary of Defense’s chief of staff “delays” whether to accept Amazon’s request for a meeting between the MJ at the Pentagon. Bezos and Mr. Matisse.

One of the closest advisers, Sally Donnelly, replied that Mr. Bezos is “the genius of our age, so why not.” Ms. Prior to 2012, Donnelly worked in the Department of Defense during the Obama administration, a consulting firm whose clients included Amazon. That meeting does not appear to have taken place, and Ms. Donnelly later confirmed to the Inspector General that she was becoming a “flippant” and that Mr. Matisse Chief Staff – Ms. Donnelly – Decided which meetings to take.

But only two days after her email to Mr. Bezos is a genius, Ms. Donnelly followed with a list of seven reasons Mr. Matisse should meet with him. In it, Amazon hired former U.S. government intelligence experts, in which its cloud security assured the Central Intelligence Agency “so convincingly” that two years ago the agency took the surprise step of relocating most of its secure work to Amazon. , ”And that Mr. Bezos’ ownership of the Washington Post gave him “influence beyond the business world.”

The Inspector General’s office has not answered questions about the payment of certain lines from emails, or left an incomplete picture of the interaction between Paymenton and Amazon.

Inspector General’s Spokesperson Dwayne K. “Our JEDI Cloud Procurement Report speaks for itself – we stand by our findings and conclusions,” Len Lane said in a statement.

MICE’s lawyer, Michael Ann. To seek. Donnelly said in a statement that she always abides by all moral and legal obligations and works in the best interests of the national security of the United States.

His efforts to broker meetings for Mr. Mattis and other tech executives “were part of the Department of Defense’s crucial efforts to bring about change in the digital age,” Mr. Levi said.

The emails – dated 2017 and 2018 – were published by the former Inspector General of the Defense Department in response to the Freedom Information Act brought against the department and its Inspector General. The events described in it anticipate a formal Pentagon request for a bid on the JEDI agreement.

Emails show Mr. Matisse’s aides also praise the chief executives of other companies.

Ms. Donnelly called Satya Nadella, Microsoft Microsoft’s chief executive, “a ‘thoughtful leader in the field’ and one of the country’s most prominent Indian Americans, and indicated that it was important for Mr. Mattis to meet with Mr. Nadella to show impartiality.”

Another aide, whose names are rewritten in emails, wrote that Milo Madin, a Google executive with whom Mr. Metis met during his 2017 trip to the west coast, he was “great”.

Mr. Mattis’ interview with Apple’s Tim Cook was also “solid,” the aide wrote, adding that the two men seemed to be clicking in person, although Cook said they were eager to help (and that seems to be the case). The assistant concluded that the “positive note of the tour” of the various companies is that everyone offers a sincere ‘patriotic’ tone. I think that would have surprised the boss a little bit. “

A month after the trip, the Pentagon released a memo titled “Accelerating Enterprise Cloud Adoption.”

Mr. Buck, who worked on a bilateral package of bills passed by the Judiciary Committee last month to weaken Big Tech’s dominance, joined Mr. Lee sent a letter to Mr. Bezos suggested in May that Amazon “attempted to monopolize one or more markets related to government and / or commercial cloud computing services by unfairly influencing the process of acquiring joint enterprise defense infrastructure.”

They called on the Department of Justice to investigate whether Amazon had “violated federal interests and no-confidence laws.” And they accused the Inspector General of the Department of Defense of glossing over Amazon’s bidding for the JEDI agreement.