Several Trump administration officials are pushing a diplomatic deal that would give Saudi Arabia nuclear technology for civilian purposes, according to Mike Cernovich, the independent journalist who broke the stories about Susan Rice spying on Trump officials and H.R. McMaster wanting a massive ground war in Syria.
National Security Advisors H.R. McMaster and Dina Powell, along with Chief Economic Advisor Gary Cohn, are all pressuring President Donald Trump to accept the deal in preparation for a ground war in Syria, according to some sources close to Cernovich. Trump, however, is reluctant to go through with the deal.
Despite being one of the world’s largest oil producers, Saudi Arabia intends to build 16 nuclear power plants by 2030.
Whether Saudi Arabia’s nuclear technology will be used solely for civilian purposes remains to be seen.
In 2011, former Saudi intelligence chief Prince Turki al-Faisal stated that his country would consider producing nuclear weapons if it found itself wedged between a nuclear-armed Israel and Iran.
Saudi Arabia obtaining advanced weaponry remains a source of concern for some U.S. officials.
“Saudi Arabia is an unreliable ally with a poor human rights record,” Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) told Foreign Policy in 2016. “We should not rush to sell them advanced arms and promote an arms race in the Middle East,” Sen. Paul added, referring to an arms deal that later failed.
Regarding a nuclear-armed Saudi Arabia, Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI) told CNN in a 2016 interview that “Saudi has good relationships with Pakistan, they could just buy a weapon and again further destabilize the Middle East.”
However, concerns about Saudi Arabia’s nuclear program will likely fall on deaf ears in Washington D.C. due to the Saudi’s enormous influence over U.S. politics and media.
Saudi Arabia spends over $10 million per year on lobbying and public relations in the United States. They use contacts in American media to influence public opinion, such as New York Times Bureau Chief Steven Lee Myers, Wall Street Journal chief foreign affairs correspondent Jay Solomon, the Washington Post’s Joby Warrick, and Reuters columnist Paul Eckert.
The Saudis have also proven their ability to wield significant influence over U.S. policy in other ways, as shown by their successful 2016 threat to sell $750 billion in treasury securities over proposed legislation that would have allowed families of 9/11 victims to sue the Saudi government.