A new report from congressional Democrats showed several former, and current appointees from the Trump administration promoted selling nuclear power plants to Saudi Arabia despite objections and warning from senior White House officials and the National Security Council.
Among those who objected included Trump’s former chief of National Security Council H.R. McMaster and the White House lawyers, according to the Democratic report which quoted documents the committee obtained.
Trump’s senior officials requested in 2017 stopping nuclear sales discussions with Saudi Arabia citing national security risks and a possible conflict of interest.
Retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, Trump’s national security advisor and Energy Secretary Rick Perry disagreed and went forward with promoting the sales. In the Oval Office last week the nuclear power sale to the Saudis was discussed.
In a 24 page report released on Feb. 19, 2019, by House Oversight and Reform Committee Chairman Elijah E. Cummings (D-Md.), it reported an unnamed source inside Trump’s White House discussed the actions because they were upset that there was a continued effort to sell power plants to Saudi Arabia.
Republicans stated on Feb. 19 in response to the report they were not included and did not receive a copy until late Feb. 18, and did not have a chance to review it thoroughly.
In a statement, Charlie Huddleston, spokesperson for the committee Republicans wrote:
This is a delicate and nuanced issue that Chairman Cummings is approaching without bipartisan input and with far-flung requests for information.”
The report noted that Westinghouse Electric, one of the power plant manufactures who would benefit from the deal is a subsidiary of Brookfield Asset Management, which provided financial help to Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner. Brookfield Asset Management leased space in the Kushner’s property at 666 Fifth Avenue for 99 years. The property is highly in debt.
Multiple Trump administration whistleblowers informed the committee that the White House was rushing to transfer U.S. nuclear technology to Saudi Arabia without the required Congress review goes against the Atomic Energy Act.
Written by Barbara Sobel
Washington Post: Top Trump appointees promoted selling nuclear power plants to Saudi Arabia over objections from national security officials, House Democratic report says
NBC News: Flynn-backed plan to transfer nuclear tech to Saudis may have broken laws, say whistleblowers
Kansas City Star: Flynn pushed to share nuclear tech with Saudis, report says
Featured and Top Image Courtesy of Gage Skidmore’s Flickr Page – Creative Common License