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Photo: Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images

The Department of Energy approved the transfer of nuclear information from U.S. companies to Saudi Arabia seven times under President Trump, including twice after the assassination of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi by the Saudi government, according to a statement from Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.).

Details: The transfer of nuclear technical expertise overseas must be approved by the DOE in consultation with the State Department and other government bodies "to protect against the proliferation of nuclear weapons programs," according to Kaine. Following demands from the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, the Trump administration revealed that it approved one such transfer on Oct. 18, 2018 — 16 days after Khashoggi's death — and another on Feb. 18, 2019.

The big picture: The close relationship between the administration and the Saudi government came under heightened scrutiny in the aftermath of Khashoggi's death, especially after U.S. intelligence officials determined that the assassination was likely ordered by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS).

  • In November, Trump said in a statement that the U.S. would stand by Saudi Arabia regardless of whether MBS ordered Khashoggi's murder.
  • Last month, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo confirmed that Trump would invoke an emergency provision allowing him to bypass Congress to sell nearly $8 billion worth of weapons that would benefit Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

Go deeper: Kushner noncommittal on whether MBS should account for Khashoggi's body

Go deeper

Updated 11 hours ago - Politics & Policy

U.S. sounds alarm on Ukraine

Conscripts line up at a Russian railway station yesterday before departing for Army service. Photo: Sergei Malgavko/TASS via Getty Images

The Biden administration is "deeply concerned" by new intelligence — detailed for Axios and other outlets — showing Russia stepping up preparations to invade Ukraine as soon as early 2022.

Why it matters: Most of this was known from public sources and satellite imagery, but the administration is sending a stronger signal by releasing specific details from the intelligence community.

13 hours ago - Economy & Business

CNN fires Chris Cuomo

Photo: Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for CNN

CNN said Saturday evening it has fired one of its star anchors, Chris Cuomo, following new revelations from a legal review made by the company into Cuomo's involvement in the management of his brother's sexual harassment scandal.

Why it matters: Saturday's firing speaks to how much pressure CNN was under by employees and critics to address Cuomo's behavior.

Updated 14 hours ago - Energy & Environment

Electric car prices could go up before they come down

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

The secret to affordable electric vehicles is cheaper batteries. But after years of falling prices, battery costs are now headed in the wrong direction.

Why it matters: Costlier batteries could drive up the price of electric vehicles — threatening the auto industry's transition away from fossil fuels, and, in turn, society's fight against climate change.