Donald Trump made an international scene of his efforts to denuclearize North Korea, leading his supporters to chant about Nobel Peace Prizes, before those deals fell apart in speculator fashion. Now, an investigation into Trump’s talks with Saudi Arabia that were allegedly in order to help nuclearize them is under fire.
@axios House Oversight and Intelligence Committees are investigating whether Trump officials have been pursuing an illegal plan from which some of them would personally financially benefit, to give nuclear technology to Saudi Arabia. pic.twitter.com/NFK6LhCGj5
— Lisa Shelton (@Moststamina1) March 10, 2019
The effort to have Trump’s talks with Saudi Arabian government officials is bipartisan and led by Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ) sent a letter to the Government Accountability Office (GAO) requesting the investigation.
The Saudi government has lobbied for the technology to build nuclear power plants throughout several presidential administrations, but the Trump administration’s efforts toward non-transparency have raised alarms, especially considering some of the many financial conflicts Trump and his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, have with Saudi money.
Reuters reports that:
‘In the latest effort by lawmakers to shed light on the potential deal, Democratic Senator Bob Menendez and Republican Senator Marco Rubio asked the Government Accountability Office, or GAO, to investigate the talks as soon as possible.’
"Top Trump administration officials have pushed to build nuclear power plants throughout Saudi Arabia over the vigorous objections of White House lawyers who question the legality of the plan and the ethics of a venture that could enrich Trump" & violate nuclear non-proliferation pic.twitter.com/Kt7tgblsML
— Morozenko Oles Sleepwalking No More! (@Ukrainik) March 14, 2019
Trump refused publicly to condemn the torture and murder of a U.S. resident and Washington Post reporter, Jamal Khashoggi, by the Saudi government. Trump told reporters that he was reluctant to sanction them for the act since the Saudis send money to the U.S. through contracts for military equipment. He’s also said at a rally that he “loves Saudi Arabia” because so many of the Saudi government officials spend millions buying apartments in Trump Towers around the world.
None of that makes the talks he’s having with the Middle Eastern country feel any less shady as he works to keep them secret.
‘Rubio and Menendez, members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, want to ensure any agreement “includes rigorous nonproliferation safeguards and other conditions to prevent nuclear cooperation with Saudi Arabia from undermining or threatening regional or international security,” said their letter to the GAO, a copy of which was seen by Reuters.’
Brookfield also owns Westinghouse, a nuclear company that was part of a Trump meeting last month. Democrats reported last month that whistleblowers told them that Trump officials have been pushing to sell nuclear plants to Saudi Arabia, and they noted the Brookfield connection.
— Daniel Dale (@ddale8) March 14, 2019
Saudi Arabian officials have attempted to go around standards in order to obtain the technology for nuclear power plants in the past, and there’s no reason to believe that change there has been significant under Trump. Their ability to build nuclear power plants would also give them the ability to build weapons.
‘Nonproliferation experts worry that if Saudi Arabia is not held to such a “gold standard,” in what is known as a 123 agreement, it could risk a nuclear arms race in the Middle East. The United Arab Emirates, which recently built reactors, could renegotiate its nonproliferation agreements if Saudi Arabia is allowed to bypass the standards.’
NEW: We filed FOIA requests across the administration to find out more about Trump administration appointees' push to sell U.S. nuclear technology to Saudi Arabia: https://t.co/r0gzNVOyRx
— American Oversight (@weareoversight) March 12, 2019
The investigation has been warranted for some time and just recently gained some GOP support. Trump’s actions in regards to Saudi Arabia have made members of Congress uncomfortable for some time.
‘Last month, Democratic House members alleged in a report that top White House aides ignored warnings they could be breaking the law as they worked with former U.S. officials in a group called IP3 International to advance a multibillion-dollar plan to build nuclear reactors in the Middle East, including Saudi Arabia.’
Who might benefit from #Trump’s and Jared Kushner's plan to sell nuclear technology to Saudi Arabia?
— middleoo (@middleoo) March 12, 2019