Hillary foundering on the uranium sale
The sale to Russia of 20% of existing U.S. uranium production, and 50% of potential reserves, may well be the issue that takes down Hillary Clinton. She chose New Hampshire TV station WMUR as the venue to provide her rebuttal to Peter Schweizer’s book Clinton Cash, and managed to seriously mislead, if not lie about the timing of donations and her actions as secretary of state. Even worse, she in effect pleaded negligence, not venality, in allowing the purchase to be approved. Via Breitbart:
When asked about the specific details about the appearance of quid pro quo in the Uranium One deal brought up in the book Clinton said, “I don’t know if we have enough time in this interview to debunk all the allegations that were made by people who are wielding the partisan axe but there is no basis for any of that. The timing doesn’t work. It happened in terms of the support for the foundation before I was secretary of state. There were nine government agencies who had to sign off on that deal. I was not personally involved because that wasn’t something the secretary of state did. I mean literally we could have a whole show debunking a lot of these really wild, inaccurate allegations.”
John Hinderaker of Powerline demolishes the timeline argument.
Hillary was secure in the knowledge that neither the interviewer nor most of those watching the show had read Schweizer’s book. In fact, there are two stages to the Uranium One scandal, as Schweizer spells out in detail. Stage one was when Bill Clinton helped to facilitate and legitimize the acquisition of vast uranium deposits in Kazakhstan by a previously-unknown company called UrAsia Energy, and the subsequent merger of UrAsia with Uranium One. The individuals who benefited from those transactions poured more than $100 million into the Clinton Foundation prior to 2009. These are the donations that Hillary refers to when she says that “the timing doesn’t work” because she was not yet Secretary of State.
The second stage of the Uranium One scandal occurred later, when a Russian company controlled by the Russian State Nuclear Agency bought Uranium One, which by that time controlled around one-half of the uranium in the United States. The Russian transaction was announced in 2010, when Hillary was Secretary of State, and was approved by her. Hillary deliberately failed to mention that contributions from the principals of Uranium One and the company’s Russian buyers continued to flow to the Clinton Foundation while she was Secretary of State….
In the New York Post today, Schweizer devastates her other argument:
“I was not personally involved because that wasn’t something the secretary of state did,” said Clinton.
The transfer of 20 percent of US uranium — the stuff used to build nuclear weapons — to Vladimir Putin did not rise to the level of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s time and attention?
Beyond being an admission of extreme executive negligence on an issue of utmost national security, Hillary’s statement strains credulity to the breaking point for at least three other reasons.
First, nine investors who profited from the uranium deal collectively donated $145 million to Hillary’s family foundation, including Clinton Foundation mega-donor and Canadian mining billionaire Frank Giustra, who pledged $100 million.
Since 2005, Giustra and Bill Clinton have frequently globetrotted together, and there’s even a Clinton Foundation initiative named the Clinton-Giustra initiative.
But Hillary expects Americans to believe she had no knowledge that a man who made a nine-figure donation to her foundation was deeply involved in the deal? Nor eight other mining executives, all of whom also donated to her foundation?
There are a number of reasons why this won’t work for her.
First of all, the American public is increasingly concerned about nuclear weapons, especially Iranian weapons.
A recent polling memo by the Republican National Committee finds that the uranium transfer issue is “the most persuasive message tested” and one that “severely undercuts her perceived strength of resume.”
Second of all, the idea that Hillary wasn’t paying attention to money matters just won’t sell. She and Bill became centi-millionaires in the course of a few years by paying very close attention to money.
Third of all, negligence is not a characteristic identified with strong leadership.
I am going to be closely watching what the other Democrat contenders have to say about the uranium sale. Paging Bernie Sanders.