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House Panel Probes White House Plan To Build Nuclear Reactors In Saudi Arabia

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The House of Representatives' Oversight and Reforms Committee has launched an investigation into White House efforts to transfer sensitive U.S. nuclear technology to Saudi Arabia, so that they can build nuclear reactors across the kingdom.

Tuesday, Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, the Chairman of the Committee on Oversight and Reform, issued an interim staff report after multiple whistle blowers came forward to warn about efforts by the Trump administration to rush the transfer of highly sensitive U.S. nuclear technology to Saudi Arabia in potential violation of the Atomic Energy Act and without review by Congress, which is mandatory.

The report says that the whistle blowers 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. Political appointees are said to be ignoring directives from top ethics advisors at the White House who repeatedly and unsuccessfully ordered senior Trump Administration officials to halt their efforts.

White House efforts to transfer sensitive U.S. nuclear technology to Saudi Arabia may be accelerating after meetings last week at the White House and ahead of a planned visit to Saudi Arabia by the President's son-in-law, Jared Kushner, the report notes.

Kushner, who is also the President's senior advisor, will be embarking on a tour of Middle Eastern capitals next week to discuss the economic portion of the Administration's Middle East peace plan.

The report indicates that there is now serious, bipartisan concern with the Trump Administration's efforts to transfer sensitive U.S. nuclear technology to Saudi Arabia. It cites a letter by Republican Senators Marco Rubio, Todd Young, Cory Gardner, Rand Paul, and Dean Heller sent in October to President Trump urging him to "suspend talks related to a potential civil nuclear cooperation agreement between the United States and Saudi Arabia" due to "serious concerns about the transparency, accountability, and judgment of current decision makers in Saudi Arabia."

Firms linked to the president have reportedly pressed the White House for these transfers.

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