Accuracy in Media

Search the web for information on the growing Uranium One scandal, and the first item that comes up – and not by coincidence – is a piece from FactCheck.org headlined “The Facts on Uranium One.”

FactCheck.org is an arm of the Annenberg Public Policy Center, a University of Pennsylvania research organization that studies media and society. 

The article that on looking into the Uranium One scandal during the 2016 campaign, they found President Trump had “falsely accused” Hillary Clinton of giving away U.S. uranium rights to the Russians” when she was secretary of state and claimed – without evidence – it was done in exchange for donations to the Clinton Foundation.

FactCheck.org said it had been asked to update the piece in light of new information in the case – recent reports in The Hill newspaper that Russian officials were executing a “racketeering scheme” to further its energy goals in the U.S. FactCheck.org said nothing that has been revealed in the last week merited changing its conclusions.

Yes, Uranium One is controlled by the Russians, and yes, while Clinton was secretary of state, it acquired 20 percent of the U.S. supply of uranium, which is instrumental in constructing nuclear weapons.

But the deal required multiple approvals, including by the Committee on Foreign Investments in the United States, which includes the president and most of his cabinet and reviews foreign investments that involve national security concerns.

Moreover, only the president has the power to cancel a deal. The other members only indicate whether they approve. No one knows whether Clinton tried to influence the matter because of the committee’s confidentiality requirements, and one of her aides told the New York Times she “never intervened with me on any CFIUS matter.”

“There is no evidence” that $150 million in donations or a $500,000 speaking fee for Bill Clinton “had any influence on the approvals granted by the [Nuclear Regulatory Commission] or the Committee on Foreign Investments.”

There may not have been any evidence in 2016, but there is now. The Hill reported Oct. 17 the FBI had obtained “an eyewitness account – backed by documents – indicating Russia nuclear officials had routed millions of dollars to the U.S. designed to benefit former President Bill Clinton’s charitable foundation during the time Secretary of State Hillary Clinton served on a government body that provided a favorable decision to Moscow.”

The Department of Justice dragged out the investigation for four years, keeping Americans in the dark about the deals being approved by government officials who appear to have been benefiting financially and a nuclear industry compromised by the Russians through kickbacks and extortion threats, “all of which raised legitimate national security concerns,” said one agent who worked on the case.

The new evidence points to a lot of people still involved with Trump and the Russia investigation. Robert Mueller, now special counsel, was director of the FBI back then. Ron Rosenstein, the deputy attorney general now in charge of Mueller’s investigation into Trump, led the investigation, along with Andrew McCabe, a Clinton ally who served as interim director of the FBI after Trump fired James Comey.

It is possible – in fact, Peter Schweizer, author of the 2015 book “Clinton Cash” that set off investigations into the uranium deal, says he knows of no evidence to the contrary – the FBI never revealed to the Obama administration what it knew about the bribery and kickbacks it had uncovered, despite the threats to national security.

For now, most of the mainstream media is attempting to ignore the story – CNN devoted less than four minutes to it in the first week after The Hill story appeared. But when that no longer is an option, mainstream media will have a fresh report from FactCheck.org to cite when it claims there is no new evidence.




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