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Jared Kushner pushed to blow up the Saudi Arabian arms deal to $ 110 billion: Sources

Story Continues [19659023] The statement of intent, seen by ABC News on a photograph and verified by a former White…

Story Continues [19659023] The statement of intent, seen by ABC News on a photograph and verified by a former White House official and first reported by Washington Post last year, shows billions of price codes for what seems to be on vague offers far from being inked . Many of the details about the number and types of weapons of defense to be purchased are not listed and slats to be delivered after 2022 or have a “determined” delivery date and quantities.

The president defends his decision to stand at Saudi Arabia in a statement on Wednesday, citing Saudi Arabia’s investment in the US economy, including the vague weapon agreement stated in the Declaration of Intent.

“This is a record amount,” said Trump. “It will create hundreds of thousands of jobs, huge economic development and much more wealth for the United States. Of the $ 450 billion, $ 110 billion will be spent on the purchase of military equipment from Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Raytheon and many other major US defense service providers . “

The intention of the intentions agreement shows an agreement between the two countries with very little legal importance.

It states that “This document does not create any authority to perform any work, assign a contract,” issue items from stock “, transfer money or otherwise commit or make binding commitment in any way either to the United States or to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia . “

The state official described the fivefold list of potential arms sales as objects that the Saudi officials had signaled interest in or considered to be in need of US defense analysts.

 PHOTO: President Donald Trump shakes hands with Saudi Prince crown prince Mohammed bin Salman in the White House Oval office on March 20, 2018 in Washington DC. (Mandel Ngan / AFP / Getty Images)

PHOTO: President Donald Trump shakes hands with Saudi Prince Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in the White House, March 20, 2018, in Washington, DC. (Mandel Ngan / AFP / Getty Images)

In one case, the document requires an indefinite amount of Mark VI patrol boats to be delivered on an indefinite date at a cost of $ 2 billion.

on the list, a C-130 J aircraft for 5.8 billion dollars but with delivery estimated between 2022-2026.

“They asked us to put as much pressure on Saudi as we could [to buy American arms]”, said a former National Security Council official “It was definitely pressed on the Pentagon people to see what was possible with the Saudi people.”

Brookings Institute for Defense Strategy Michael O & # 39; Hanlon, who has seen the photograph of the intent of ABC News, called it “Amateur Qualitative Quality.”

“It acknowledges it’s not binding,” said O & # 39; Hanlon ABC News.

“It’s a multi billion dollar transaction with three short data as if it’s meaningful. It’s like taking notes on the back of a napkin over dinner. It’s not a contract. It’s the thought to put all these number in interest of the largest number you can find. “

A former senior security council member said that it is not uncommon to push for concrete deliveries to announce at major events, but the official called the extent and exaggeration of $ 110 billion in the figure “never before seen”.

According to another former Security Council official, it was not just about having unprecedented delivery on the world stage but also securing a more advantageous unit sales for the United States from defense companies such as Lockheed Martin and Boeing. Getting the arms in place in Saudi Arabia also made them available for US forces added by the former official.

“These details raise even more questions about what really drives the Trump administration’s refusal to break down Saudi Arabia’s behavior,” Democrat Rep. David Cicilline, a member of the Foreign Ministry.

“If Jared Kushner blew up the size of this arms trade, we need to find out why. Congress should come to the bottom of this and work to introduce stronger sanctions against the Saudi government, carefully review our relations with Riyadh and discourage aid to Saudi efforts in Yemen that have created a huge humanitarian crisis. “

When Trump hosted bin Salman at the White House last year, he ratified many of the names of the proposed weapons.

During his eight-year period, Obama committed $ 115 billion in arms trade with Saudi Arabia – some of which were not completed – never announced the agreement in a form package.

“Some of the things we work with and ordered and will soon start in construction and delivery: the THAAD system – $ 13 billion; the C-130 aircraft, Hercules, the Great Planet – $ 3.8 billion; Bradley Vehicles – that’s the thought – $ 1.2 billion, and P-8 and P-8 Poseidons – $ 1.4 billion, says Trump.

Since Khashoggi killed, Trump has insisted that the US would be “stupid” for to disturb any arms sales with saudis. [19659047] On Tuesday, President Trump said: “China and Russia would love to make $ 100 billion military equipment for Saudi Arabia … it would be a big, bold and beautiful gift to Russia and China. They will not get that gift.

A representative of the Saudi government did not respond to a request for comments.

<p class = “canvas-atom canvas text Mb (1.0em) Mb 0) – sm Mt (0.8em) – sm” “data-reaction =” 86 “> ABC News John Parkinson and Conor Finnegan contributed to this report.

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