Trump Administration Approved Nuclear Transfers to Saudis After Khashoggi Murder

Two rounds of authorizations deeply criticized in Congress

From virtually the moment that the Saudi government murdered journalist Jamal Khashoggi, President Trump made clear he didn’t want to make a big deal about it, and certainly didn’t want to see it risk lucrative arms sales to the Saudi kingdom.

But beyond the arms trade, the Trump Administration has also engaged in nuclear technology sharing with the Saudi government, a controversial move at a time when Congress is questioning just how close it is appropriate to be with them, given the circumstances.

Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA) revealed that the administration has twice authorized the sharing of sensitive nuclear information with the Saudis. The first time was 16 days after Khashoggi’s murder, and the second time was three months after the CIA concluded the Saudi Crown Prince had ordered the killing.

Congress has been pushing to limit contact with the Saudis, paring back arms sales and in particular nuclear export permits for the Saudis, who don’t accept non-proliferation restrictions.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of