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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

Biden will reverse Trump's attempt to lift COVID related travel restrictions

Photo: Tasos Katopodis via Getty

The incoming Biden administration will reverse President Trump's last-minute order to lift COVID-19 related travel restrictions, Jen Psaki, the incoming White House press secretary, tweeted.

Why it matters: President Trump ordered entry bans lifted for travelers from the U.K., Ireland, Brazil and much of Europe to go into effect Jan. 26, but the Biden administration will "strengthen public health measures around international travel in order to further mitigate the spread of COVID-19," Jen Psaki said. Biden will be inaugurated on Wednesday, Jan. 20 and Trump will no longer be president by the time the order is set to go into effect.

Dominion sends cease and desist letter to My Pillow CEO Mike Lindell

Photo: Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

Dominion Voting Systems on Monday sent a cease and desist letter to My Pillow CEO Mike Lindell over his spread of misinformation related to the 2020 election.

Why it matters: Trump and several of his allies have pushed false conspiracy theories about the company, leading Dominion to take legal action. It's suing pro-Trump lawyer Sidney Powell for defamation and $1.3 billion in damages, and a Dominion employee has sued Trump himself, OANN and Newsmax.

Off the Rails

Episode 5: The secret CIA plan

Photo illustration: Aïda Amer, Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Zach Gibson/Getty Images

Beginning on election night 2020 and continuing through his final days in office, Donald Trump unraveled and dragged America with him, to the point that his followers sacked the U.S. Capitol with two weeks left in his term. This Axios series takes you inside the collapse of a president.

Episode 5: Trump vs. Gina — The president becomes increasingly rash and devises a plan to tamper with the nation's intelligence command.

In his final weeks in office, after losing the election to Joe Biden, President Donald Trump embarked on a vengeful exit strategy that included a hasty and ill-thought-out plan to jam up CIA Director Gina Haspel by firing her top deputy and replacing him with a protege of Republican Congressman Devin Nunes.