Middle East/North Africa

State Dept official ousted after assisting arms sales to Saudi Arabia, UAE: report

A senior State Department official left the Trump administration after helping develop a plan that steered billions of dollars to the defense firm he once lobbied for, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Charles Faulkner, a former lobbyist for Raytheon Co., was part of a move by the Trump administration to bypass congressional review and fast-track $8 billion in arms sales to the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia, according to the WSJ, citing current and former U.S. officials.

{mosads}Faulkner left his post as deputy assistant secretary at the State Department after playing a role in efforts leading to the emergency declaration, according to the newspaper.

The declaration led to concerns in Congress about whether Faulkner had violated ethics rules by contributing to the declaration, which allowed Raytheon to sell $2 billion of precision-guided missiles to the UAE and Saudi Arabia, according to the WSJ.

The House Foreign Affairs Committee plans to hold a hearing next Wednesday regarding the emergency declaration, with Faulkner’s part in it expected to come up in the questioning. For the last two years, Faulkner served as both deputy assistant secretary and acting assistant secretary for legislative affairs, according to the newspaper.

A State Department spokesperson told The Hill that the department would not comment on internal personnel matters.

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