July 10, 2019

VIDEO: Kaine raises concerns over Trump family ties to Saudi Arabia

In a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing this morning, Senator Kaine raised concerns with the Trump family’s ties with Saudi Arabia and the questions they raise about the Administration’s dubious decisions on national security issues. Kaine laid out a timeline showing how the Trump and Kushner families have benefited from business deals with Saudi Arabia as the Administration has continued arms sales despite bipartisan opposition in Congress, approved secret transfers of nuclear technology to Saudi Arabia and failed to hold it accountable for the for the gruesome murder of journalist and Virginia resident Jamal Khashoggi. Kaine has been one of the leading critics of the Trump Administration’s unwavering support for the Saudi regime in the wake of Khashoggi’s killing, its creation of an unprecedented humanitarian crisis in Yemen, and its brutal cracked down on women’s right activists.  

“When you look at the financial ties between the President’s own family and companies that stand to benefit and that are being publicly promoted by the Secretary of Energy to benefit from this deal, and you ask the question of why is the Administration bypassing Congress – not on matters dealing with other countries – but again and again and again on matters dealing with Saudi Arabia, I think the hearing we’re having today is just the very tip of the iceberg about what Congress needs to do to exercise oversight about why there is such a departure from the ordinary course of business on matters of such national security sensitivity with respect to Saudi Arabia,” Kaine said in the hearing.

Here is the timeline of events Sen. Kaine cited and video of his remarks:

August 2015 – Trump in Mobile, AL: “Saudi Arabia — and I get along great with all of them. They buy apartments from me. They spend $40 million, $50 million. Am I supposed to dislike them?”

May 2017 – President Trump’s first trip abroad is to Riyadh. Announces $110 billion arms deal.

December 2017 – Part 810 nuclear technology transfer secretly approved.

January 2018 – Brookfield Business Partners announces plan to acquire Westinghouse Electric for $4.6B.

May 2018 – Perry testifies that goal of civil nuclear discussions with Saudi is to convince to use Westinghouse to construct reactors.

August 2018 – Brookfield bails out Kushner.

October 2018 – Virginia resident and journalist Jamal Khashoggi is murdered by Saudi regime.

October 2018 – Part 810 nuclear technology transfer secretly approved.

November 2018 – Trump says U.S. stands with Saudi Arabia after Khashoggi’s murder.

February 2019 – Trump Administration fails to make Magnitsky determination on responsibility for Khashoggi’s murder.

February 2019 – Part 810 nuclear technology transfer secretly approved.  

April 2019 – Trump vetoes bipartisan resolution to end U.S. military support for Saudi-backed war in Yemen.

May 2019 – State submits emergency notification to Congress of 22 arms transfers worth $8.1 billion to Jordan, UAE, and Saudi Arabia.

June 2019 – UN publishes report concluding Saudi state murdered Khashoggi.


You can watch video of Senator Kaine’s remarks here: https://timkaine.box.com/s/m1su5e88bkcxx4pd3onsf7hbqgvxzj14

You can download the timeline graphic here: https://timkaine.box.com/s/z2gk3fytwvhrjwmmdnpj3ktbve2tq0lq