Whistleblowers: The Trump Admin Behind Saudi Nuclear Plants (Video)

Can you imagine if we discovered President Obama planned to sell nuclear technology to a foreign power against his national security staff’s advice?

Of course not.

Yet, this is precisely what multiple whistle blowers are reporting, as is stated in a House of Representatives Oversight and Reform interim staff report issued Tuesday.

Former Trump administration National Security Adviser, Michael Flynn, supported a plan for a cadre of U.S. companies to construct several nuclear power plants in Saudi Arabia.

Flynn was a stated adviser to a branch of IP3 International, the company responsible for the deal, and was actively engaged while still employed at the White House in attempting to rush the transfer of highly sensitive U.S. nuclear technology, potentially violating the Atomic Energy Act, without congressional review, as law requires.

The House report reads:

“The whistleblowers who came forward have expressed significant concerns about the potential procedural and legal violations connected with rushing through a plan to transfer nuclear technology to Saudi Arabia.  They have warned of conflicts of interest among top White House advisers that could implicate federal criminal statutes.  They have also warned about a working environment inside the White House marked by chaos, dysfunction, and backbiting.  And they have warned about political appointees ignoring directives from top ethics advisors at the White House who repeatedly and unsuccessfully ordered senior Trump Administration officials to halt their efforts.”

As early into the administration as January 27, 2017, retired IP3 generals met with Derek Harvey, a then-National Security Council (NSC) senior staffer, at the White House to discuss the “Middle East Marshall Plan.”

The House report states:

“Mr. Harvey directed the NSC staff to add information about IP3’s ‘plan for 40 nuclear power plants’ to the briefing package for President Trump’s call with [Saudi Arabia’s] King Salman.”

Michael Flynn is long gone, but these efforts are ongoing, possibly increasing.

Last week the White House held meetings on it, and next week Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner is traveling to Saudi Arabia to further talks.

According to the report:

“On February 12, 2019, the President met with nuclear power developers at the White House about sharing nuclear technology with countries in the Middle East, including Saudi Arabia.  In addition, next week Mr. Kushner will be embarking on a tour of Middle Eastern capitals—including Riyadh—to discuss the economic portion of the Administration’s Middle East peace plan.”

According to the whistle blowers’ account, a top NSC official told colleagues Kushner was promoting the IP3 plan “so that Jared Kushner can present it to the president for approval.”

Although the House report does not admit any illegality on IP3’s part, it thoroughly accounts how the firm exploited its White House connections to advance its interests.

Chen Kane, director of the Middle East nonproliferation program at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies, stated in an interview with Politico:

“I see a problem that the Trump administration is giving time to IP3 and their ideas.”

A former senior congressional staffer who worked on nuclear matters added:

“The fact that the people previously pushing this scheme got the meeting with the president after all their attempts to get meetings elsewhere throughout the administration is suspicious.”

Top State Department arms control and nuclear proliferation official under President Obama, Thomas Countryman, warned:

“The U.S. has an interest in not seeing the expansion of enrichment and reprocessing technology in the region. It would be a mistake to compromise these principles too far.”

The report comes at a time when lawmakers are concerned with the Trump administration’s cozy relationship with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

The United States’ participation in the Saudi Arabia-led intervention in the Syrian civil war has implicated itself in the starvation of 14 million people who have been suffering since the Saudi-led war in Yemen escalated in 2015.

Then there was the brutal death and dismemberment of Saudi journalist and American resident Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey on October 2, for which Donald Trump defended Saudi Arabia.

In DecemberDavid Fahrenthold Jonathan O’Connell reported in The Washington Post that lobbyists representing the Saudi Arabian government reserved 500 rooms at Trump’s D.C. hotel within a month of the 2016 presidential election, for which they paid more than $270,000, on behalf of six groups of U.S. military veterans sent to Washington to lobby against a law the Saudis opposed.

Image credit: Wikimedia Commons

Ted Millar is writer and teacher. His work has been featured in myriad literary journals, including Better Than Starbucks, The Broke Bohemian, Straight Forward Poetry, Caesura, Circle Show, Cactus Heart, Third Wednesday, and The Voices Project. He is also a contributor to The Left Place blog on Substack, and Medium.