Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Saudi Arabia, Coca-Cola

And now we know why Donald Trump specifically attacked House Democratic Oversight Chair Elijah Cummings over the weekend with a barrage of racist tweets: Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner has been selling nuclear technology to the Saudis.

A longtime Trump insider has been pushing a proposal to build dozens of nuclear power plants in Saudi Arabia while seeking to avoid restrictions on the transfer of U.S. nuclear technology and has at times stood to profit from the effort, according to an investigative report by the House Oversight Committee.

“Today’s report reveals new and extensive evidence that corroborates Committee whistle-blowers and exposes how corporate and foreign interests are using their unique access to advocate for the transfer of U.S. nuclear technology to Saudi Arabia,” said Rep. Elijah Cummings, the Maryland Democrat who chairs the committee.

The 50-page report, which relied on 60,000 documents and statements from whistle-blowers inside the administration, was made public Monday. It focuses on the actions of Thomas Barrack, a wealthy Los Angeles businessman who oversaw President Donald Trump’s inaugural committee, as well as earlier efforts by retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn to push a Saudi nuclear energy plan. Investigators said they found evidence that “private parties with close ties to the President wield[ed] outsized influence over U.S. policy towards Saudi Arabia.”

“These new documents raise serious questions about whether the White House is willing to place the potential profits of the President’s friends above the national security of the American people and the universal objective of preventing the spread of nuclear weapons,” according to the report.

The investigative report was completed late last week but is being released on the heels of a barrage of critical tweets by President Trump targeting the Maryland Democrat and his Baltimore district. There is no indication Trump knew the report was imminent.

The White House did not cooperate with the investigation, providing none of the documents requested. Congressional investigators said documents they did recover showed that some Trump administration officials used personal email accounts to communicate with executives from private companies pushing the plan. In several instances, it was “unclear” if those officials “took steps to preserve this email as required by the Presidential Records Act,” the report said.

The White House declined to comment.

Committee Republicans, in a report issued last week, pushed back on the Democrats’ review, saying the Trump administration did not act inappropriately in contemplating the potential transfer of nuclear technology to Saudi Arabia.

Republicans also argued that Barrack had no conflicts by promoting the nuclear proposal because he ultimately did not join the administration.

The investigation focuses on company called IP3 International, which is run by a group of retired American generals, and their years-long effort to promote a plan to sell dozens of nuclear power plants to Saudi Arabia and other Gulf countries. The company has been aided in its efforts by two well-known Trump advisers: Flynn and Barrack, a California investment executive who has deep ties in the Middle East.

The report alleges that Flynn and later Barrack helped push the proposal during the 2016 campaign, in the White House and later during briefings with senior White House officials including Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner and ultimately President Trump. IP3 officials also briefed cabinet officials including Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Secretary of Energy Rick Perry, according to the report.

Once again, pay-for-play corruption is endemic to this regime.  Jared Kushner especially would be prison right now if he wasn't married to Trump's daughter.

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