There's been no love lost between Amazon's Jeff Bezos and President Donald Trump. But now things might get even worse.
In a shocking revelation on Monday, CNBC reported that Amazon wants to depose President Donald Trump to determine whether he personally played a role in ensuring Microsoft, and not Amazon, was awarded a $10 billion government contract for cloud services to be provided to the Pentagon as part of what has become known as the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI).
In a scathing statement to CNBC, Amazon said that it wants to determine whether Trump interfered in government operations for his own personal gain -- something the company argues he's done before.
"President Trump has repeatedly demonstrated his willingness to use his position as president and commander in chief to interfere with government functions -- including federal procurements -- to advance his personal agenda," the Amazon spokesperson said. "The preservation of public confidence in the nation's procurement process requires discovery and supplementation of the administrative record, particularly in light of President Trump's order to 'screw Amazon.' The question is whether the president of the United States should be allowed to use the budget of the DoD to pursue his own personal and political ends."
Bezos and Trump have been at odds for years. Trump has been especially critical of The Washington Post, which Bezos owns, and has said that Bezos uses it to target him and his administration--a charge the Post and Bezos have denied.
Trump has also targeted Amazon for not paying enough taxes and offloading much of its tax burden overseas. He's even criticized Amazon for its payments to the U.S. Postal Service.
For his part, Bezos, whom Trump has called "Jeff Bozo," has slammed Trump on numerous occasions and has particularly aimed at protecting the press and the freedom of the press against Trump's ongoing attacks.
But Amazon and Bezos sensed something unfair last year, when the Defense Department announced plans to award Microsoft and not Amazon the $10 billion JEDI cloud contract. Soon after, Amazon filed a lawsuit against the government, saying that the bidding process had "clear deficiencies, errors, and unmistakable bias."
In a court filing in December, Amazon followed that with claims that Trump himself had launched "behind-the-scenes attacks" on Amazon's efforts to win the contract. The company also cited a memoir by former defense secretary James Mattis, who said Trump wanted to "screw Amazon" and have it not get the contract.
But that's just part of the story. Even if Trump had no direct influence on the selection process, he's been exceedingly vocal about his distaste for Amazon and Bezos. And that public criticism could have factored into the bidding process, Amazon argues.
Whatever the case, the chances of Trump actually being deposed in this case are slim. And, so far, the president hasn't commented on Amazon's move. But if anything is certain, the fight between Trump and Bezos has only just begun. And it could get uglier.