Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Nukes for the Saudis - coming soon from Trump and Kushner

The corruption in the Trump regime never stops. Judd Legum (popular.info) reports.

Multiple whistleblowers say there is an effort within the Trump administration to illegally transfer “highly sensitive U.S. nuclear technology to Saudi Arabia.” Their claims were revealed in an explosive report released Tuesday by the House Oversight Committee.

The allegations center around a company called IP3, which is pushing a multi-billion dollar plan to build 40 nuclear reactors in Saudi Arabia. Using American nuclear technology is strictly controlled by the Atomic Energy Act of 1954 and requires the approval of Congress. The protections are intended to prevent the proliferation of nuclear weapons.

But the whistleblowers claim there is an aggressive effort to get the Trump administration to approve the plan unilaterally.

Moreover, following the money

Jared Kushner bought the tower at 666 5th Avenue for $1.8 billion in 2008, at the height of the real estate bubble. The aging tower soon started losing tenants and hemorrhaging millions. Worse, the Kushner family faced a balloon payment on its $1.4 billion mortgage that would have been due this month.

But last August, a company called Brookfield bailed the Kushner family out of Jared Kushner’s billion dollar boondoggle. According to reports, Brookfield paid the Kushners $1.1 billion upfront for a 99-year lease of the building, allowing the family to pay down its debts.

Why was Brookfield interested in the aging property which failed to attract a buyer for more than two years?

We don’t know for sure, but a nugget buried in the House Oversight Committee report may provide a clue. In January 2018, Brookfield “announced its plans to acquire Westinghouse Electric for $4.6 billion.” Westinghouse Electric “is the bankrupt nuclear services company that is part of IP3’s proposed consortium to build nuclear reactors in Saudi Arabia.”

Jared Kushner is seen as a key player in getting IP3’s plan approved. He is extremely close to Saudi leadership, especially Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS). The strategy to get Trump to approve IP3’s plan, according to one whistleblower, was for Kushner to “present it to the President for approval.”

Is 666 5th Avenue a bad investment for Brookfield? Maybe. But if it ultimately helps Westinghouse, its new acquisition, score a multi-billion dollar deal to build nuclear reactors in Saudi Arabia, it will be worth it.

Holy sh!t. If MBS can order up a hit on a journalist, think about what he could do with our nuclear technology.

There are lots more ugly details. Here are two.

IP3’s inside man was Mike Flynn, Trump’s former national security adviser who is currently awaiting sentencing for lying to the FBI. Flynn signed on as an adviser for IP3 while he was advising Trump on national security issues during the 2016 campaign. Once he became national security adviser, he continued to advocate for the plan.

IP3 enlisted Tom Barrack, Trump’s longtime friend and the chairman of his inaugural committee, to push its plan to build dozens of nuclear reactors in Saudi Arabia. Barrack has deep ties with the Saudis. His investment company, Colony NorthStar, “has raised more than $7 billion in investments since Mr. Trump won the nomination, and 24 percent of that money has come from the Persian Gulf — all from either the U.A.E. or Saudi Arabia,” according to the New York Times. A spokesman for Barrack boasted that his relationship with leaders in Saudi Arabia and other middle eastern countries “span as far back as the reign of even some of the grandfathers of the current regional rulers.”

IP3’s plan was to convince Trump to appoint Barrack as a special envoy to get the nuclear deal with Saudi Arabia finalized.

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