Joy Reid was the darling of mainstream media this weekend for her supposedly epic takedown of Washington Examiner reporter Jen Kerns over the Uranium One scandal.
“Watch MSNBC’s Joy Reid expertly debunk lies around Uranium-Clinton Story,”
the teaser headline on Slate read.
“Reid had Jen Kerns from the Washington Examiner on as a guest and proceeded to demonstrate just how nonsensical the whole story is when you start looking at it away from the right-wing news prism,” the article stated.
Kerns admitted that the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States has nine members, none opposed the deal at the time, and all have said they would approve it again today.
Someone connected with Uranium One gave the Clinton Foundation more than $140 million and paid Bill Clinton $500,000 for a 30-minute speech, according to Reid.
“But those were two things that cross in the middle of the night,” Reid said. “They have no relation to each other.”
What she doesn’t tell us is the committee consists of seven cabinet members, including the secretary of state, and two members from White House agencies.
Reid implies it would have taken some kind of heavy lift for Hillary to talk the eight other members into supporting the deal. Actually, all are presidential appointees, committed to forwarding the president’s agenda. If he signaled approval, it would be extraordinary for any member to oppose it.
Andrew McCarthy of National Review said this is best understood as an Obama administration scandal as opposed to strictly a Hillary Clinton scandal.
Citing pollster Mark Penn, a former Clinton strategist, McCarthy said the Facebook ads allegedly placed by Russians cost a total of $6,500.
“By contrast, the staggering $500,000 payday from a Kremlin-tied -Russian bank for a single speech was part of a multi-million-dollar influence-peddling scheme to enrich the former president and his wife, then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.”
Worse, McCarthy wrote, “at the time the administration approved the transfer, it knew that Rosatom’s American subsidiary was engaged in a lucrative racketeering enterprise that had already committed felony extortion, fraud, and money-laundering offenses. The Obama administration also knew that congressional Republicans were trying to stop the transfer.
“Consequently, the Justice Department concealed what it knew. DOJ allowed the racketeering enterprise to continue compromising the American uranium industry rather than commencing a prosecution that would have scotched the transfer. Prosecutors waited four years before quietly pleading out the out for a song, in violation of Justice Department charging guidelines. Meanwhile, the administration stonewalled Congress, reportedly threatening an informant who wanted to go public.”
McCarthy and others have written there seems to be no evidence the members of the Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S. knew of the FBI’s investigation into bribery and extortion targeted at the U.S. nuclear industry, in which a Rosatom official forced American firms to pay higher prices for the uranium and rewarded executives in his firm with the kickbacks – compromising both the Russians and the U.S. nuclear company executives.
The Russian official in charge of this hired a lobbyist, but the lobbyist grew worried he was on the wrong side of the law and went to the FBI, who made him a confidential informant as it continued – for four years – to investigate the bribery and extortion scheme.
This person had been under a gag order issued by the FBI, but President Trump ordered it lifted – and the person will meet with a variety of congressional committees, starting today, to tell what he knows.
McCarthy says Kazakhstan is involved as well. The man who wrangled a fifth of our uranium had a deal with the Kazakh government to mine some of its uranium. But Russian leader Vladimir Putin leaned on Kazakhstan to withdraw from the deal, and a day later, the person responsible for negotiating it was arrested. The executive, who had given millions of dollars to the Clintons, called in a favor, and the deal was restored, McCarthy said.
All of which adds up to … no one knows exactly. But it’s a lot more than two things that cross in the middle of the night and have no relation to each other.