Marco Rubio Threatens Trump Admin Over Saudi Nuclear Talks
Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) penned a letter to Donald Trump threatening to block any U.S.-Saudi nuclear agreements if the president does not heed his call to cut off civilian nuclear talks with Saudi Arabia in the wake of journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s murder. Rubio and four of his colleagues said they had concerns about nuclear cooperation with Saudi Arabia even before Khashoggi was killed. But the journalist's murder has fueled further doubts about the kingdom’s leadership. The Trump administration has been engaged in ongoing nuclear talks with Riyadh in an effort to strike a cooperation agreement that would allow U.S. companies to build nuclear power plants in Saudi Arabia -- billions of dollars are at stake for American companies. However, there have been long-standing concerns about enabling the Saudis to conduct activities that could eventually lead to the country developing nuclear weapons, fueling a nuclear arms race in the Middle East. “The ongoing revelations about the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, as well as certain Saudi actions related to Yemen and Lebanon, have raised further serious concerns about the transparency, accountability, and judgment of current decision makers in Saudi Arabia," the Senators wrote. "We therefore request that you suspend any related negotiations for a U.S.-Saudi civil nuclear agreement for the foreseeable future." In addition to Rubio, the letter was signed by GOP Senators Cory Gardner (CO),Rand Paul (KY), Dean Heller (NV), and Todd Young (IN). More here.