Two weeks before Donald Trump’s inauguration as president, three of his closet aides – Steve Bannon, Jared Kushner, and Michael Flynn – held a secret meeting with the king of Jordan in New York City where they discussed security concern, terrorism, Isis – and Flynn pitched a for-profit plan to build a nuclear reactor in the Middle Eastern nation.
The idea of placing a nuclear reactor in the explosive middle east – part of a larger plan to place nuclear plants all over the region – is obviously a very dangerous idea considering that even a peaceful power plant could later become a source of fuel for nuclear weapons in the volatile region.
Alexandra Bell, senior policy director at the nonprofit Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation told Buzzfeed it was comparable to “providing a nuclear weapons starter kit.”
Flynn was a paid at least $25,000 as a consultant according to Politico, for what was being called “the Marshall Plan” which initially envisioned building 40 nuclear power plants across the Middle East, including in Egypt and Saudi Arabia.
Newsweek first reported Flynn’s involvement in a deal which was said to include” $200 billion in U.S. nuclear export opportunities.”
The Saudi government was to have been part of the consortium along with a Russian company, which was to provide the security for the plants. The reactors would be built by American companies.
The state-owned Russian firm, Rosoboron, is an arms exporter that is currently facing U.S. sanctions.
“Any proposal to introduce dozens of nuclear reactors to the Middle East, particularly Saudi Arabia, raises many proliferation red flags,” Daryl Kimball, executive director of the nonpartisan Arms Control Association told Buzzfeed. “The Saudis do not need nuclear power and them gaining access could lead to dangerous consequences down the road.”
“The meeting with the king of Jordan had extremely high stakes,” reports Buzzfeed, “a discussion with the head of a key American ally that might have included plans about spreading nuclear power to one of the world’s least stable regions, possibly with the help of one of America’s main geopolitical enemies, Russia.”
None of those White House officials involved announced the meetings at the time or initially reported them on official disclosures, although they later amended the documents to include the meeting.
Flynn officially quit his consulting job when he took a position with Trump as National Security Advisor, according to a December 2016 government disclosure form, but according to the Wall Street Journal, he actually continued to push the project even after he began working in the White House.
Flynn later was forced to resign officially because he lied to Vice President Mike Pence about his contacts with the Russians. He is one of the subjects of the investigation by Special Counsel Robert Mueller into Trump campaign collusion with Russian hackers.
This week, Democrats on the House Oversight Committee told reporters they plan to turn over documents about the nuclear plan to Mueller because he may have violated federal law by not properly disclosing his foreign trips and meetings.
This revelation also is becoming public only a week before Jordon’s King Abdullah II is due to come to Washington for meetings with Trump.
Once again Jared Kushner, who is Trump’s son-in-law as well as his key advisor on the Middle East and many other areas, is caught attending a meeting with foreign leaders that he failed to initially report.
Democrats have repeatedly asked why Kushner still has a security clearance, but he does, no doubt thanks to Trump.
Bannon is now out of the White House but remains a friend of Trump’s and an influence through his connections to conservatives who are pushing their own political agenda.
This all becomes more fodder for Mueller, as the revelations of misdeeds continue to pop up and the circle of questionable activities with Russians grows.
This is the latest in a series of explosive revelations that should have real consequences in the future, if not now. And all of these revelations have one thing in common – the road of ruin leads back to Donald Trump.