According to whistleblower accounts, the discussions to enter a nuclear deal with Saudi Arabia began as early as Jan. 1, 2017, after Donald Trump was elected president but before his inauguration.
The proposal to bring nuclear power to Saudi Arabia was presented in a letter to Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman outlining the so-called “Iron Bridge Program as a 21st Century Marshall Plan for the Middle East,” which was signed by IP3 leaders Gen. Keith Alexander, Gen. Jack Keane, Bud McFarlane and Rear Adm. Michael Hewitt, as well as the chief executives of six companies — Exelon Corp., Toshiba America Energy Systems, Bechtel Corp., Centrus Energy Corp., GE Energy Infrastructure and Siemens USA that collectively refer to themselves as IP3 International.
“These commercial entities stand to reap billions of dollars through contracts associated with constructing and operating nuclear facilities in Saudi Arabia — and apparently have been in close and repeated contact with President Trump and his administration to the present day,” the House committee, which is chaired by Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, D-Md., said in an interim investigation report released Feb. 19.
The whistleblowers, which include mostly White House staff, warned that “conflicts of interest among top White House advisers that could implicate federal criminal statutes” and political appointees have ignored directives from senior ethics advisers.
The Atomic Energy Act requires Congress to approve any transfers of nuclear power technology to foreign governments.
Efforts from Capitol Hill to halt the U.S. nuclear transfer discussions between the White House and Saudi Arabia have been ongoing, despite a recommendation in March 2017 from National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster for the White House National Security Council to cease working on the IP3 proposal.
On Oct. 31, Republican Sens. Marco Rubio, Todd Young, Cory Gardner, Rand Paul and Dean Heller sent a letter 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.”
However, the Trump administration’s ongoing talks to bring nuclear power to Saudi Arabia allegedly are being led by the president’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner (pictured). On Feb. 12, President Trump reportedly met with nuclear power developers at the White House to discuss sharing nuclear technology with countries in the Middle East, including Saudi Arabia.