Sean Hannity didn’t let a little thing like his Uranium One/Hillary Clinton conspiracy theory getting totally debunked by his own colleague deter him from continuing to promote it as if it’s the scandal of the century.
Yesterday, Fox News anchor Shepard Smith debunked the Uranium One “scandal” in no uncertain terms. But a few hours later, Sean Hannity, the guy who demanded “truth and honesty” from Roy Moore later in the same show, pretended that the bogus conspiracy theory was more valid than ever.
Smith is billed as “Chief News Anchor” for Fox News. As I write this, his report debunking Uranium One is featured on the FoxNews.com page of his show:
So you’d think the network would stand by his work and demand that other shows not act as though it didn’t exist.
Last night, Hannity went all Glenn Beck in his opening monologue, standing in front of a chart supposedly representing a “giant web of Clinton scandals and corruption.” Hannity never directly contradicted what Smith said but he certainly suggested the conspiracy theory had not been debunked:
HANNITY: Now, to put this simply, then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and others, nine total, approved a Russian takeover of 20 percent of America’s uranium supply in 2010. Now, it’s all while Vladimir Putin was becoming more and more hostile on the world stage.
SMITH: Federal approvals were also needed. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission approved the sale on November the 24th of 2010 and in doing so, stipulated that no uranium produced may be exported.
So where does the uranium go? Well, the Energy Information Administration or EIA reports that unless special permission is granted by the Department of Energy or other governmental agencies, Uranium One sells the uranium that it mines in the United States to civilian power reactors in the United States.
But Hannity made it sound as though Clinton and her Obama-administration cohorts had personally handed over American uranium to Russian president Vladimir Putin:
HANNITY: Why would anyone, let alone members of our government think it’s a good idea to let Putin control 20 percent of our uranium supplies when we don’t have enough? It never made sense, it still doesn’t make sense. It’s not like America has a lot of uranium to begin with. Guess what? Hillary Clinton, Eric Holder, if you look at all of this up here, and the rest of the Obama administration, I argue created a national security crisis. This is insanity.
After moving on from Uranium One, Hannity attacked former FBI Director James Comey, suggesting he was somehow in the tank for Clinton (read: anit-Trump), and the so-called Steele Dossier (read: Special Counsel Robert Mueller's Russia investigation is a cooked-up, anti-Trump hit job.) Also in Hannity’s Beck-like web: former DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz.
“These are all massive scandals,” Hannity concluded. Of course, Russian interference in our presidential election on behalf of Trump is not even worth a second thought from this phony patriot.
Fox & Friends and America's Newsroom also ignored Smith's debunking
Not surprisingly, Fox & Friends are also still behind the Trump-friendly “make Russia about Clinton” effort. They gave an unquestioning welcome to the Destroy Mueller Investigation Congressional soldier, Rep. Jim Jordan, this morning. Jordan promised the Curvy Couch that any Uranium One investigation “needs to be the full gamut,” meaning that it include Comey. “In many ways,” Jordan added, "Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and Mueller are “compromised.” Not the Russians, not the Trump administration if they were involved in any of the meddling, but Democrats.
“Not in the tank for Trump” cohost Ainsley Earhardt wondered what’s taking so long because “many people” tell her “The Democratic Party needs to be held accountable for this.”
On America’s Newsroom, cohost Sandra Smith pretended to be just thinking of the folks when she claimed they “just wonder are we ever going to get to the bottom of this?” You can probably guess which bottom she was referring to.
Watch Hannity prove that pro-Trump propaganda trumps facts and news on Fox below, from the November 14, 2017 Hannity show.
I have not caught every minute of every Hannity show since Smith’s report but so far I have only seen him subtly suggest a respectful disagreement with Smith.
Hannity will probably never “blast” Smith or disparage him, for various reasons: One, it would almost certainly not go over well with management; two, Hannity is sitting pretty at Fox right now and it seems that the news division is angrier at the opinion side than the other way around. Also, Hannity probably knows that Smith is right and it would not serve him well to go after him.
Given that Mueller’s team will shortly be announcing more indictments of Trump/Pence folk, it is not hard to understand why the Right Wing desperately wants to change the subject. We had discussed this situation a year ago, noting that Pence would want to have the Clinton perp walk happen as a distraction when their legislative agenda stalled. And here we are – a bit later than anticipated, but essentially in the same position.
This matter may look amusing on the surface, simply due to its nonsensical outrageousness. But Hannity and the people he’s trying to influence are quite serious about this. They’re not kidding when they chant “Lock Her Up!” Underestimating their hatred or their determination is not a course I would advise.
Note needs to be made that Hannity et. al. are reaffirming how dangerous Putin’s Russia is even though otherwise Trump mostly acts like there’s little problem. Hillary was supposedly a sellout for not nixing the Uranium One deal while Trump is supposedly a visionary for intending to loosen sanctions on Putin?? Trump won’t forgive Merkel for trade imbalances, but Uranium One doesn’t even make the cut in the long and far-more-significant-than-trade-imbalance list of transgressions for which Trump has forgiven Putin.
It seems to me the most basic reason why this story doesn’t have legs and is at most pure optics only requires considering the circumstances under which US uranium mines actually matter.
1. Given that the U.S. government could freeze or confiscate foreign- owned U.S.-located mines, it would seem to be Russians, not the U.S., who would be at risk with these mines in a crisis situation. This would be on top of the risk the Russian investors have already taken in backing US-based mining, given the track record of US mines closing down in the face of foreign competition.
2. The claim that the Uranium One mines accounted for “20% of U.S. reserves” is highly misleading given that the denominator of that statistic—total U.S. uranium reserves—would be an order of magnitude higher higher than it is now if the price of uranium were higher (as it would be, say, in a relevant crisis). In other words, if the US was forced to rely solely on its own resources, the Russian-owned mines would amount to about 2%, not 20%, of US reserves.
Way back when Billo Reely was a talking head here on Denver local news, he was a pompous clown. Eyewitless News Ted Baxter. Wanchorman. He acted his way to an Emmy for his commanding delivery. A true g.d.*