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Saudi Arabia, Russia, Trump and nuclear power.



  Trump sits on the president's desk and holds a phone like Kushner and Flynn watch while sitting in chairs across him.

Donald Trump speaks to Saudi Arabia's King Salman in Oval Office on January 29, 2017, as Jared Kusher and Michael Flynn look on.

Mandel Ngan / AFP / Getty Images

The question remains, whether Justice Barrister Barr's summary of the Mueller report shows that the last two years of coverage and conversation about Donald Trump's ties to Russia were McCarthyist sensationalism or, on the other hand, were actually responsible and responsible. (The president is weighed in, you can guess which side he is on.)

That's one of the smooth questions; if you define "cover and conversation about Donald Trump's ties to Russia" to mean the most conspiratory speculation of people who believe that Trump was compromised by the Soviets in 1987, then yes, it does not look good in thought, not It also looked good at that time. If you define "cover and conversation about Donald Trump's ties to Russia" to mean discussion about whether Trump and his advisers were involved in a criminal conspiracy in 2016, Barr's conclusion is one that a well-informed news reader would have known was at least, An option, though you might be able to quibble on how much relative weight it got. But if you define "cover and conversation about Donald Trump's ties to Russia", it means reporting on Trump and his counselor's story of doing business with numbers associated with Russia's oligarch gangster power structure – and pushing for US policies that would help enrich these numbers – so Barr's letter doesn't change much. This means that it was not only a valuable topic for coverage over the past two years, but it is worthwhile to cover in the future too – a point that was beneficially demonstrated on Wednesday in a Reuters report on US companies receiving secret Trump administration. approval to do nuclear power in Saudi Arabia.

Here's Reuters & # 39; summary of what's going on:

U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry has approved six secret permissions from companies to sell nuclear technology and assistance to Saudi Arabia, according to a copy of a document seen by Reuters on Wednesday.

The Trump administration has stylishly pursued a broader agreement to share US nuclear technology with Saudi Arabia, which aims to build at least two nuclear power plants.

What does it have to do with Russia? A 2017 Reuters report answers: The Trump administration was first interested in negotiating nuclear offers in Saudi Arabia because Michael Flynn and some of Flyn's Russian business partners suggested it.

The background for a US-Russian plan to build nuclear reactors throughout the Middle East spread after the US election, which they had supported by Donald Trump's national security adviser Michael Flynn for a project that demanded sanctions against Russia, documents that were reviewed by the Reuters show.

Michael Flynn, you remember, was Trump's national security advisor for about a month. Flynn resigned when he was hit by a conversation he had had with the Russian ambassador on economic sanctions, after which it was revealed that Flynn had been paid $ 68,000 by Russian units in 2015 the year before he joined the Trump campaign as an advisor. Flynn was one of several Trump advisors. Others were Donald Trump Jr., Paul Manafort, Jared Kushner and Michael Cohen, who had (or pursued) business relationships with well-established Russians in the years leading up to the 2016 election. (I count Kushner, as his wife, Ivanka Trump, had the opportunity to run the spa in the Trump Tower Moscow development, which the Trump organization pursued in the 2016 performance; Kushner also had an inexplicable meeting with the head of a Russian state bank in December 2016). .) All of these people also participated in 2016 and early 2017 in real documented, non-compounded theoretical talks with Russian numbers to discuss proposals to remove US sanctions on Russia. (The sanctions were introduced to prevent organized crime and civil servants involved in human rights and international law violations from using the US financial system.) The Trump administration has since been consistent in pushing for a more lax sanction policy, to the point that even the Congress Republicans has objected

One of Flyn's goals as a national security advisor, meanwhile – and again – all of which are legitimately documented – was to pursue a business and geopolitical partnership involving the United States, Russia, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates. The nuclear project should be part of that partnership. And while it seems that Flyn's Russian nuclear weapons partners fell sometime before 2017, Flynn and others in Trump's orbit, including Prime Minister Tom Barrack, continued to push the administration to facilitate a Saudi nuclear trade to a US company called IP3. As a congressional report has documented, the National Security Council accused Flynn and Barrack's involvement in the administration's discussion of the IP3 agreement being based on the fact that the couple could have benefited personally. (Barrack has great business interests in Saudi Arabia.) However, this week's Reuters report indicates that a Saudi acquisition of US nuclear technology may nonetheless move forward.

By the way, Reuters has also reported that one of the companies, besides IP3, could take advantage of Saudi nuclear investments, is Brookfield, the same financial firm that recently made a huge annuity investment in 666 Fifth Ave. that Jared Kushner's family business has borrowed heavily to buy in 2007. (Brookfield has recently acquired a core services company called Westinghouse.) Kushner has been closely involved in the administration's Saudi Arabia policy and has personally met the country's de facto leader on several occasions. (To be clear, Reuters could not decide which six companies had been allowed to work with the Saudis, so we do not yet know if they include them tied to Flynn, Barrack and Kushner.)

There are other ways in which Saudi Arabia has cultivated people close to Trump looking for lucrative business actions too; You can read about them here and here. At the same time, the administration has been so uninteresting in sanctioning Saudi Arabia for the murder of the Washington Post pillar advocate and the American residence Jamal Khashoggi, which again, even Republicans in Congress are angry. It's the same pattern we saw in Trump World's relationship with Russia: Money is poured out of the hands of not so great people in a foreign land and into the hands of people close to Trump, and then at the same time Donald Trump does (or tries to make) great favors for those people in his capacity as presidential candidate / president. Is it McCarthyism to say that this seems like a less than ideal way to drive a country?


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