As most people reading this know, when Donald Trump does something that even Fox News and most of the conservative media can’t defend, that’s when they evoke the names of Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton. It’s a running joke among many on the left that when you back a Trump supporter into a corner during some sort of political debate, their go-to move is to always bring up either Obama or Clinton as opposed to actually defending whatever nonsense they believe about Trump.
So it doesn’t surprise me that Trump, Fox News, and much of the conservative media is trying to rehash a story from seven years ago concerning Russia’s purchase of Canadian company Uranium One.
The keyword in that sentence being Canadian.
You see, if you listen to Trump, Fox News, or the rest of the conservative media, you’d think we sold 20 percent of this country’s uranium to Russia during the Obama administration — which isn’t true. During the 2016 election this was a talking point used by Trump against Clinton, often suggesting that she, herself, approved the deal. Again, that’s not true.
Here are the facts about this “controversy”:
- Uranium One was a company based in Canada which had mines in the United States.
- Russia bought Uranium One.
- The sale had to be approved by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States.
- In all, nine different government agencies had to sign off on this deal, making Clinton’s role very minor.
- Russia can’t export any of the uranium mined in the United States.
The most recent controversy stems from a report that the DOJ uncovered a bribery plot where Russian officials had corrupted an American uranium trucking firm with bribes and kickbacks. Basically, Russians were funneling money into the United States, trying to compromise American contractors in the nuclear industry.
Though as The Hill stated in their report:
Rather than bring immediate charges in 2010, however, the Department of Justice (DOJ) continued investigating the matter for nearly four more years, essentially leaving the American public and Congress in the dark about Russian nuclear corruption on U.S. soil during a period when the Obama administration made two major decisions benefiting Putin’s commercial nuclear ambitions.
“The Russians were compromising American contractors in the nuclear industry with kickbacks and extortion threats, all of which raised legitimate national security concerns. And none of that evidence got aired before the Obama administration made those decisions,” a person who worked on the case told The Hill, speaking on condition of anonymity for fear of retribution by U.S. or Russian officials.
In other words, while this investigation was going on the DOJ kept everyone in the dark and the Obama administration didn’t know anything about any of this when the sale of Uranium One was approved.
Even former Rep. Mike Rogers (R-MI), who chaired the House Intelligence Committee at the time the investigation was happening, told The Hill that he had never been told anything about any Russian nuclear corruption case.
“Not providing information on a corruption scheme before the Russian uranium deal was approved by U.S. regulators and engage appropriate congressional committees has served to undermine U.S. national security interests by the very people charged with protecting them,” Rogers said. “The Russian efforts to manipulate our American political enterprise is breathtaking.”
What all of this comes down to is that Russia was, well, being Russia. They were acting like an organized crime syndicate funneling money into the country to corrupt American contractors into helping them make these deals. Though I’d like to point out that the investigation seems to backup allegations that Russia might be using bribes and/or extortion to compromise Trump considering that’s obviously a tactic they like to use.
For me the issue here is, while it definitely looks bad for the Obama administration, by all accounts, officials at the DOJ kept these investigations from government officials. Which means President Obama, Hillary Clinton, and the heads of the other agencies that approved this deal had no idea any of this was going on before giving it their approval.
Unless it’s somehow proven that Barack Obama was in on it the entire time, considering he’s the only person who had unilateral authority to kill this deal, then it’s ridiculous for Trump, Fox News, or anyone from the conservative media to try to frame this as some sort of “Russia/Obama/Clinton” controversy.
In the end, this still goes back to the fact that Russia can’t export the uranium mined here in the United States. Making anyone who claims that Obama or Clinton “sold 20 percent of this country’s uranium to Russia” either completely ignorant about this deal, or a baldfaced liar.
Either way, this serves as just another example of the desperation of Donald Trump, Fox News, and the rest of the conservative media to evoke the names of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton in an attempt to distract people from exactly how terrible and corrupt this administration is.