Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman attends a meeting in Islamabad, Pakistan, Sunday. (Bandar Algaloud Handout/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock)
Several current and former Trump administration appointees promoted sales of nuclear power plants to Saudi Arabia despite repeated objections from members of the National Security Council and other senior White House officials, according to a new report from congressional Democrats.
The officials who objected included White House lawyers and H.R. McMaster, then the chief of the National Security Council. They called for a halt in the nuclear sales discussions in 2017, citing potential conflicts of interest, national security risks and legal hurdles.
Yet the effort to promote nuclear sales persisted, led by retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, who served briefly as President Trump’s national security adviser, and more recently by Energy Secretary Rick Perry. The possible nuclear power sale was discussed in the Oval Office as recently as last week.
Details about these internal White House battles are contained in a 24-page report released Tuesday morning by Rep. Elijah E. Cummings (D-Md.), chairman of the House Oversight and Reform Committee. The report is based on documents obtained by the committee and the account of unnamed whistleblowers inside the White House who said they were distressed at the continual effort to sell the power plants.
Committee Republicans said Tuesday they were not included in the drafting of the detailed report and had not received a copy until Monday night. They said they had not had a chance to fully assess it.
The report includes a wide range of allegations and suggests the involvement of a long list of high-profile people in Trump’s orbit.
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