While then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton decided whether to allow the sale of a company holding 20 percent of America’s uranium capacity to the Russian government, tens of millions of uranium investor dollars were received by the Clinton Foundation – not to mention a $500,000 speaking fee received by Bill Clinton from a Kremlin-affiliated bank.
President Donald Trump referred to this Russian deal scandal involving former President Barack Obama and Clinton in a tweet he posted Tuesday morning, where he indicated that Congress should look into the $145 million the Clintons received in donations from uranium investors before Russia’s energy agency, Rostatom, worked out the purchase of U.S.’s Uranium One. He noted that a probe should ensue – if Congress truly wanted to find evidence of U.S politicians colluding with Russia.
“Why isn’t the House Intelligence Committee looking into the Bill & Hillary deal that allowed big Uranium to go to Russia, Russian speech,” Trump tweeted. “… money to Bill, the Hillary Russian ‘reset,’ praise of Russia by Hillary, or Podesta Russian Company. Trump Russia story is a hoax. #MAGA!”
As Congress ponders the investigation of another Hillary scandal, it is currently reviewing allegations that Trump and his aides worked together with Russia to beat Hillary Clinton in November’s presidential election.
“The 2010 deal for a majority stake of Canadian-based Uranium One – which required approval from Clinton’s State Department and eight other federal agencies – and its plausible connection to major donations to the Clinton Foundation was exposed by author Peter Schweizer in his book, Clinton Cash, and confirmed in a 3,000 word, front-page story by the New York Times,” WND reported. “Former Uranium One chairman Ian Telfer was among several individuals connected to the deal who made donations to the Clinton Foundation.”
Clintons cashing in on U.S. uranium?
According to the Times, four foreign donations adding up to $2.35 million were made to the Clintons by Telfer.
“The donations flowed as the Russians gradually assumed control of Uranium One in three separate transactions from 2009 to 2013,” WND’s Art Moore explained. “Snopes and other ‘fact checkers’ who insist there was no quid pro quo have argued that most of the donations were made in 2008 – before Hillary Clinton became secretary of state. But she was running for president at that time.”
The covert dealings reportedly began more than a decade ago and continued on for years afterward.
“The origin of the deal traced back to 2005, when mining financier Frank Giustra traveled with Bill Clinton to work out an agreement with the government of Kazakhstan for mining rights,” Moore added. “Giustra has donated $31.3 million to the Clinton Foundation. [Then,} in June 2010, shortly after the Russians announced their intention to acquire a majority stake in Uranium One, Bill Clinton personally received a speaking fee of $500,000 from a Kremlin-tied Russian investment bank connected to the uranium deal.”
It was also noted by the Times that contributions given to the Clinton Foundation were not made public, according to Canadian tax records. This was a direct violation of an agreement that Clinton signed with the Obama administration when she assumed the role as secretary of state – which stated that she must disclose all donations made from abroad.
Furthermore, it was disclosed last week by the Daily Caller News Foundation Investigative Group that John Podesta – the campaign chairman for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign – likely opened himself up to a Russian “influence campaign” – an arrangement that was devised to modify his views to coincide with those held by the Kremlin.
“Podesta possibly violated federal law when he failed to fully disclose his membership on the executive board of an energy company that accepted millions from a Vladimir Putin-connected Russian government fund,” WND reported.
Giving Russia the edge
Hillary Clinton’s maneuverings while secretary of state reportedly turned the axis of nuclear power to Russia’s advantage.
“After Rosatom finally secured 100 percent of Uranium One in 2013, the Russian-government news website Pravda declared: ‘Russian Nuclear Energy Conquers the World,’” Moore pointed out. “The acquisition of uranium-mining stakes stretching from Central Asia to the American West made Rosatom one of the world’s largest uranium producers and brought Putin closer to his goal of controlling much of the global uranium supply chain, the New York Times said.”
Once approval from the U.S. government was secured, Putin was recorded in a staged interview with Rosatom Chief Executive Sergei Kiriyenko, who expressed the sheer magnitude of the deal.
“Few could have imagined in the past that we would own 20 percent of U.S. reserves,” Kiriyenko told Putin, according to WND.
This coincided with the famous boast uttered by the former first lady regarding U.S. relations with Russia.
“The agreement came as the Obama administration – led by Hillary Clinton’s State Department – famously was seeking to ‘reset’ strained relations with Russia,” Moore recounted. “Because uranium is considered a strategic asset that has implications for national security, the agreement had to be approved by a panel of representatives from a number of United States government agencies, including the State Department.”
The U.S. government and Rosatom made vows to each other in order to lessen tensions regarding ceding control of the company’s assets to the Russians – yet the Times reports that the promises were broken numerous times.
“[Even though it cannot be proven that the donations had a direct impact on the uranium deal’s approval,] the episode underscores the special ethical challenges presented by the Clinton Foundation, headed by a former president who relied heavily on foreign cash to accumulate $250 million in assets – even as his wife helped steer American foreign policy as secretary of state, presiding over decisions with the potential to benefit the foundation’s donors,” the Times noted.
Brian Fallon, the spokesman for Clinton’s 2016 campaign, defended the questionable negotiations.
“[No one] has ever produced a shred of evidence supporting the theory that Hillary Clinton ever took action as secretary of state to support the interests of donors to the Clinton Foundation,” Fallon expressed during the campaign season last year – according to the Times – insisting the Canadian government and other U.S. agencies were also required to sign off on the problematic deal. “To suggest the State Department, under then-Secretary Clinton, exerted undue influence in the U.S. government’s review of the sale of Uranium One is utterly baseless.”
Feeling uneasy about leaked reports, the Clintons were forced to change their tone.
“The appearance of undue influence, however, prompted the Clinton Foundation to announce changes – including limiting donations from foreign governments and barring Russia from giving to all but its health care initiatives,” Moore indicated.
This, however, did not line up with the Clinton Foundations future dealings.
“[The Clinton Foundation continued to] accept contributions from foreign sources whose interests – like Uranium One’s – may overlap with those of foreign governments, some of which may be at odds with the United States,” reported the Times, which received information about the significance of the deal from Clinton’s U.S. ambassador to Russia at the time, Michael McFaul.
“Should we be concerned?” McFaul asked before answering his own question, according to the Times. “Absolutely. Do we want Putin to have a monopoly on this? Of course we don’t. We don’t want to be dependent on Putin for anything in this climate.”
Bill Clinton behind the scenes
Canadian mining financier Giustra had former President Bill Clinton strategically at his side to orchestrate his first major uranium deal – an arrangement that began Russia’s acquisition of American uranium deposits in Kazakhstan back in 2005, the Times reported.
Schweitzer stressed why Clinton’s role in the deal was so important, noting that Giustra wanted to have a large uranium concession in Kazakhstan, yet the Canadian could not get it from Nursultan Nazarbayev – the nation’s repressive dictator.
“Bill Clinton shows up, declares at a press conference that Nazarbayev is a wonderful leader, should actually lead an international human rights organization,” Schweizer explained. “And lo and behold, a couple of days later, Nazarbayev gives Frank Giustra this uranium concession. A few weeks after that, Bill Clinton’s Clinton Foundation gets more than $30 million from Frank Giustra.”
Bill and Hilary Clinton’s underhanded dealings to cash in were then clarified.
“[Bill Clinton undercut] American foreign policy and criticism of Kazakhstan’s poor human rights record by, among others, his wife, then a senator,” the Times stated.
A series of arrangements then took place that highlight the problematic negotiations between the U.S. and Russia.
“Giustra’s fledgling company, UrAsia Energy Ltd., signed a preliminary deal with Kazakhstan giving the company stakes in three uranium mines controlled by the state-run uranium agency Kazatomprom,” Moore informed. ”UrAsia merged in 2007 with Uranium One, a South African company with assets in Africa and Australia, which soon began purchasing companies with assets in the United States. By June 2009, Uranium One’s stock had dropped 40 percent, but Russia, lacking domestic uranium reserves, was eyeing a stake in the company. That’s when Uranium One pressed the U.S. Embassy in Kazakhstan, which was under Hillary Clinton’s authority, to talk with Kazakh officials about clearing the way for a deal. American cables show the U.S. Embassy energy officer met with Kazakh officials, and three days later, a wholly owned subsidiary of Rosatom completed a deal for 17 percent of Uranium One. Within a year, Russia sought a 51 percent controlling stake. The only obstacle to the deal was that the U.S. government, namely the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, had to sign off on it.”
It was further noted by the Times that when a Chinese government-owned company pursued a 51-percent stake in a small gold mining operation in Nevada back in 2009, the attempted acquisition triggered a covert Washington probe. Officials were reportedly concerned that the proximity of the mine to a U.S. military installation, which likely contained minerals, including uranium – might come under Chinese control.
According to Schweizer, a potential deal killer soon set in.
“When the Uranium One deal was under way,] a spontaneous outbreak of philanthropy among eight shareholders in Uranium One [took place], Schweizer noted. “These Canadian mining magnates decide now would be a great time to donate tens of millions of dollars to the Clinton Foundation.”
The reasoning behind the negotiations was then clarified.
“The national security issue at stake in the Uranium One deal was not primarily about nuclear weapons proliferation, but about American dependence on foreign uranium sources,” Moore emphasized.
Marin Katusa, who authored The Colder War: How the Global Energy Trade Slipped from America’s Grasp, said that even though America receives 20 percent of its electricity from nuclear plants, it generates only about a fifth of the uranium that it needs.
“The Russians are easily winning the uranium war, and nobody’s talking about it,” Katusa told the Times. “It’s not just a domestic issue, but a foreign policy issue, too,” Katusa explained.
Ceding control to the Russians
A letter showing fears about the U.S. losing power to the Russians via the Uranium One deal was written by four members of the House of Representatives.
Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wy.) and two other House members started pushing legislation to kill the deal.
“[The Uranium One deal] would give the Russian government control over a sizable portion of America’s uranium production capacity,” Barraso expressed to Obama.
It was noted that a major decision-maker in the deal was Obama’s former secretary of state.
“Still, the ultimate authority to approve or reject the Russian acquisition rested with the cabinet officials on the foreign investment committee, including Mrs. Clinton – whose husband was collecting millions in donations from people associated with Uranium One,” the Times stated.
The Times was told by an insider who had information about the Clinton Foundation’s fundraising operation – on condition of anonymity – that money was used to buy influence.
“Why do you think they are doing it – because they love them?” the informant sarcastically posed.
The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States started its review two months afterward, but it was disclosed that a massive coverup soon ensued.
“Did the committee weigh the U.S. desire to improve bilateral relations with Russia against the potential risks of allowing the Russian government control over the biggest uranium producer in the United States?” Moore pondered. “That information has never been disclosed, but the deal was approved in October after, the Times said, citing two people involved, ‘a relatively smooth process.’”