Michael Flynn had his Middle East nuclear power plan prepped for presidential approval by staffers at the National Security Council, the Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday. Flynn’s plan to promote his former colleagues’ business interests in the Middle East while serving in the Trump administration was previously known—what wasn’t known is how far he managed to get with it.
The proposal was simple and brazen: Flynn’s business associates would build and operate dozens of nuclear plants worth hundreds of billions of dollars in Saudi Arabia and elsewhere in the Middle East, according the Wall Street Journal. Today, the Journal reported that Flynn had proceeded much further than previously known—he instructed his colleagues on the National Security Council to draft a plan for approval by the president based on memos from the group of retired military officers now working in the private sector.
Since Flynn’s resignation, Flynn’s old business partners have sought out other avenues to get approval for the project, valued at $250 billion—including Jared Kusher. The White House told the Journal “nothing came” of the meetings with Kushner. Beyond the amount of money at stake, the plan was also conceived as a rebuke to Iran, strengthening the nuclear presence of Saudi Arabia, which remains hostile to it.
An ally Flynn brought with him to the NSC, former Army Col. Derek Harvey, attempted to bypass the office of the NSC that handles economic and energy issues and broker the deal directly with the private sector. Another ally, former Reagan national security advisor Bud MacFarlane, sent Flynn a draft memo for the president. Flynn told NSC staff to “prepare a package for the president” to review and put into motion, according to the Journal.
The companies involved told the Journal that the administration had asked for the proposals:
In emailed responses to questions from the Journal, the plan’s backers said the meetings and documents were sent at the administration’s request. They said Mr. Flynn had been invited to join their group in the summer of 2016, but that in December he said he wouldn’t participate.