Trump administration pushed for sale of nuclear plants to Saudi Arabia, Democrats say in report


WASHINGTON – Top Trump administration officials advocated for a plan to build dozens of nuclear power plants in Saudi Arabia despite warnings that the move could pose ethical concerns and violate federal law, according to a report released by House Democrats.

The 24-page report was compiled for the House Committee on Oversight and Reform, chaired by Democrat Rep. Elijah Cummings, who on Tuesday also announced a widespread probe of the plan, those within the White House who were involved and the financial interests of those individuals.

Democrats raise concerns that the Trump administration aiding this effort would allow the Saudi regime access to “sensitive U.S. nuclear technology” that could in turn “allow Saudi Arabia to produce nuclear weapons that contribute to the proliferation of nuclear arms throughout an already unstable Middle East.”

The White House’s relationship with Saudi Arabia has been heavily criticized in the aftermath of the killing of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi. President Donald Trump faced intense pressure to halt an arms deal with the regime after evidence surfaced showing Saudi’s crown prince was involved in Khashoggi’s death.

The White House did not immediately respond to inquiries from USA TODAY about the report and the new Democratic-led probe.

Last week, the House passed a measure aiming to force the president to end U.S. military support for the Saudi-led war in Yemen. The measure also acted as a condemnation for the government’s role in Khashoggi’s slaying.