Department of Defense diverting $3.83 billion from budget to build border barriers

A federal judge has handed Amazon a win by temporarily blocking Microsoft’s JEDI contract with the Pentagon.

Amazon is in the middle of a lawsuit against the Defense Department, accusing President Trump of “repeated public and behind-the-scenes attacks to steer” the Pentagon’s Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure contract toward Microsoft in order to “harm his perceived political enemy,” Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos.

The contract, which The Washington Post notes is “meant to create a powerful, centralized computing system for U.S. military agencies,” is estimated to be worth up to $10 billion over 10 years, and Microsoft won it last October after Amazon claims Trump used “improper pressure” and after a process Amazon says was full of “unmistakable bias.”

But as the lawsuit continues, a judge on Thursday ordered work on the network to be halted, the Post reports. Microsoft in a statement said that “we are disappointed with the additional delay” but that “we believe the facts will show [the Defense Department] ran a detailed, thorough and fair process in determining the needs of the warfighter were best met by Microsoft.” The Associated Press notes Amazon was considered the frontrunner before the contract was given to Microsoft.

Meanwhile, The New York Times notes Amazon has recently “escalated the battle” over the contract, as the company is also seeking to depose Trump himself, as well as Defense Secretary Mark Esper, with an Amazon spokesperson saying, “The question is whether the president of the United States should be allowed to use the budget of the D.O.D. to pursue his own personal and political ends.” Brendan Morrow

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