Trump circumventing Congress in rush to sell nuclear technology to Saudis

The Trump administration is bypassing congressional oversight in an effort to sell nuclear technology to Saudi Arabia, according to a new report from the House Oversight and Reform Committee.

According to Rep. Elijah Cummings, chairman of the oversight committee:

“The whistleblowers who came forward have warned of conflicts of interest among top White House advisers that could implicate federal criminal statutes.”

Al Jazeera reports:

“A key target of the Oversight Committee’s inquiry is an effort by IP3 International, a consortium of nuclear power producers that began lobbying during the Trump transition in late 2016 and early 2017 to win presidential approval to develop nuclear power plants in Saudi Arabia.”

The fear of security analysts is that allowing Saudi Arabia to have nuclear technology would start an arms race in the Middle East, with other nations also seeking to acquire the means to produce weapons-grade nuclear material.

Disgraced former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn also played a role in trying to get nuclear plants built in Saudi Arabia:

“According to the report, the nuclear effort was pushed by former national security adviser Michael Flynn, who was fired in early 2017 and is awaiting sentencing for lying to the FBI in the Russia investigation.

“The committee’s report details how National Security Council and ethics officials repeatedly warned the actions of Flynn and a senior aide could run afoul of federal conflicts of interest law and statutes governing the transfer of nuclear technology to foreign powers.”

The deal also would have benefited President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and senior White House adviser Jared Kushner:

“The report also notes one of the power plant manufacturers that could benefit from such a deal includes Westinghouse Electric, a subsidiary of Brookfield Asset Management, a company which struck a deal in August to rescue the Kushner family’s 666 Fifth Avenue tower in Manhattan from massive debts.”

All of this comes amidst the White House’s increasing efforts to isolate Iran after the administration withdrew the U.S. from the multiparty nuclear deal which had been struck during the Obama administration to control the growth of Iran’s budding nuclear program.

Apparently, as long as you’re on Donald Trump’s friends list the way Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is, you can have all the nuclear material you want and even kill journalists with no reprisals.

Featured Image Via CNN