House Dems claim Trump ally aimed to profit from nuclear deal

Credit: Reuters - Politics
Published on July 30, 2019 - Duration: 01:35s

House Dems claim Trump ally aimed to profit from nuclear deal

Tom Barrack, a billionaire friend of U.S. President Donald Trump, pursued a plan to buy Westinghouse Electric Corp even as he lobbied Trump to become a special envoy to promote the building by the firm of nuclear power plants in Saudi Arabia, said a congressional report released on Monday.

Roger Fortuna reports.

House Dems claim Trump ally aimed to profit from nuclear deal

He's a longtime close associate of President Donald Trump, and he's now coming under a glaring spotlight on Capitol Hill.

This after an explosive report from Congress said private equity manager Tom Barrack tried to land a powerful job under Trump while also pushing to strike a lucrative nuclear energy deal with Saudi Arabia.

The report by the Democrat-led House Oversight Committee alleges Barrack leveraged his ties to the President in a bid to become his Mideast envoy, as he also sought a contract to build 40 nuclear power plants in the Saudi kingdom and around the Mideast.

Nearly 60,000 pages of documents, including text messages and emails, showed Barrack's plan involved buying Westinghouse, the only U.S. maker of large reactors.

Barrack ultimately failed to buy the company or become a special envoy, but critics say the report highlights the level of access corporate and foreign interests have gained to Trump and their ability to tap that access for private gain.

The deal would have required the transfer of US nuclear know-how to Saudi Arabia despite US safeguards aimed at preventing the spread of nuclear weapons.

Barrack, a top Trump fundraiser, was questioned earlier this month by federal prosecutors about his work for foreign clients.

Federal investigators are also looking at Barrack's role in getting foreign donors to contribute millions of dollars to Trump's extravagant inauguration.

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