In an extremely rare act of bi-partisanship, Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) is joining Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) in justly calling on the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to investigate the Trump administration’s nuclear negotiations with Saudi Arabia after reports found that senior White House officials pushed for the sale of nuclear technology to the oil-rich nation.
“We request that GAO conduct an urgent review of [the Department of Energy’s] interactions with Saudi Arabia regarding nuclear cooperation, how it has coordinated with or involved other relevant agencies, particularly the State Department, and the specific initiatives or proposals for nuclear cooperation that have been presented or discussed in those interactions,” the two divergent senators wrote in a letter to Gene Dorado, who leads the GAO.
Both senators share the same fears of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that discussions on nuclear cooperation with Saudi Arabia “are happening in a very opaque manner” and that “DOE’s interactions with Saudi Arabia are not being fully coordinated within the interagency and that other key agencies, such as the State Department, may not be fully engaged or involved in the DOE-led discussions or negotiations,” according to the letter.
Both Senators also indicated that they won’t push ahead a nuclear agreement without committee members getting assurances that it does not create a major security threat.
“Before the committee approves a 123 agreement with Saudi Arabia, Members would want to be assured that any agreement includes rigorous nonproliferation safeguards and other conditions to prevent nuclear cooperation with Saudi Arabia from undermining or threatening regional or international security,” they said in their letter.