Barrack Pushed To Move Nuclear Tech To Saudis

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July 29, 2019 5:36 p.m.

Colony Capital chairman and head of the President’s inaugural committee Tom Barrack pushed to allow U.S. companies to export nuclear technology to Saudi Arabia at the same time he was advising the White House on selecting personnel who would handle Middle East policy, according to a new report issued by the House Oversight Committee.

The new report — published on Monday by Oversight Committee chair Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD) — details how large American corporations, paired with foreign governments, managed to influence U.S. foreign policy decision-making on the question of nuclear transfer to Saudi Arabia.

“With regard to Saudi Arabia, the Trump Administration has virtually obliterated the lines normally separating government policymaking from corporate and foreign interests,” the report reads. “These new documents raise serious questions about whether the White House is willing to place the potential profits of the President’s friends above the national security of the American people and the universal objective of preventing the spread of nuclear weapons.”

The allegations center on a company called IP3 International. Managed by several retired U.S. generals, the company has pushed to allow American companies to sell nuclear reactors to Saudi Arabia and other foreign states.

Technology transfer requirements currently ban the sale of nuclear technology, absent strict controls.

The report states that Barrack, his company, and IP3 had discussed a plan whereby they would join with Saudi Arabia’s public investment fund to buy out Westinghouse, a U.S.-based nuclear reactor producer that went bankrupt in 2017. Another consortium of investors bought the firm out, but the Oversight committee report alleges that Barrack and others “sought and obtained support for this acquisition strategy at the highest levels of the White House.”

In a statement, Rep. Cummings accused the White House of running its foreign policy for profit.

“The American people deserve to know the facts about whether the White House is willing to place the potential profits of the President’s personal friends above the national security of the American people and the universal objective of preventing the spread of nuclear weapons,” he said.

The report is the second volume in the committee’s investigation of efforts by the Trump White House to transfer nuclear technology to Saudi Arabia. The first volume, which was released in February, detailed the involvement of former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn and his staff.

Brooklyn federal public integrity prosecutors are investigating potential foreign lobbying violations in the effort, the New York Times reported.

Read the report here:

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