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David McCormick’s wife was considered for UN role. Her ties to Saudi Arabia tanked it. 

Dina Powell negotiated business deals between Goldman Sachs and state-owned Saudi owned entities

By Jesse Valentine - May 31, 2024
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Dave McCormick
FILE - Dave McCormick, a Republican candidate for U.S. Senate in Pennsylvania, meets with attendees during a campaign event in Warminster, Pa., March 7, 2022. Millionaire candidates and billionaire investors are harnessing their considerable personal wealth to try to win competitive Republican primaries for open U.S. Senate seats in Pennsylvania and Ohio. Hedge fund billionaire Ken Griffin has contributed millions to a super PAC supporting McCormick. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

Dina Powell, the wife of Pennsylvania U.S. Senate candidate Daivd McCormick, has portrayed herself as a Middle East expert. She appears to have acquired this expertise by working with Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, a body implicated in the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Powell is a surrogate for McCormick’s campaign. For ten years, she was an executive at Goldman Sachs, dealing largely with international affairs. In 2017, President Donald Trump appointed her to be the first United States Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategy. The Trump White House said Powell played a key role in shaping their Middle East policy.

“I have the unenviable task of introducing my wife,” McCormick said at a May 15 event in Bucks County.  “It’s kind of like being the warm up band for the Rolling Stones. But all of you know about this incredible woman who’s led at the highest levels of our government, was a Middle East expert [and] is the person that was the deputy national security adviser for President Trump.”

Powell left the White House in 2018 and returned to Goldman Sachs where she managed the company’s sovereign wealth funds portfolio. A sovereign wealth fund is a state-owned entity tasked with investing a portion of a country’s national wealth. Powell later did similar work for the investment firm BDT & MSD Partners.

The Wall Street Journal reported in May 2023 that Powell established deep ties with Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund, known as the Public Investment Fund (PIF), while at Goldman Sachs. The PIF is controlled by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS). In May 2018, Powell facilitated a meeting between Goldman Sachs CEO David Solomon and MBS.

“MBS, you are the crown prince of Saudi Arabia,” Powell said at the summit. “And, David, you are the crown prince of Goldman Sachs. It will be good for you two to get to know each other.”

CNN reported that planes owned by the PIF were used to fly assassins into Istanbul, Turkey to carry out Khashoggi’s murder in Oct. 2018. The CIA said it was confident that MBS had personally ordered the killing.

At the time of Khashoggi’s murder, Powell was under consideration to be the Trump administration’s new U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations. She was forced to withdraw her name from consideration due to her ties to MBS.

Powell continued working with Saudi Arabia after Khashoggi’s murder. She reportedly helped negotiate a 2019 deal between Goldman Sachs and Saudi Aramco, a state-owned oil company.

McCormick has named foreign relations as a top issue in his U.S. Senate campaign and has accused Democrats of making “weak and harmful foreign policy decisions.” 

McCormick and Powell married in 2019.


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