The only thing missing from Shepard Smith’s complete debunking of his colleagues’ Uranium One conspiracy theory was a calling out of the role that his own network has played in promoting this witch hunt into a Congressional investigation.
In case you missed it, Attorney General Jeff Sessions has announced that he is considering appointing a special counsel to investigate Fox News’ whataboutism for the Russia investigation: Hillary Clinton’s role in approving the 2010 sale of the Uranium One sale to a Russian company. Sean Hannity is apparently bound and determined to use this fake scandal to deflect from and discredit special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation that is closing in on Hannity’s beloved Trump.
Recently, some at Fox News have spoken publicly, albeit anonymously, about their disgust and embarrassment at their network’s Russia coverage. After watching this segment, it’s almost a certainty that Smith is in that camp.
Transcript via Media Matters:
DONALD TRUMP: Hillary Clinton’s State Department approved the transfer of 20 percent of America’s uranium holdings to Russia. Well, nine investors in the deal funneled $145 million to the Clinton Foundation.
SMITH: That statement is inaccurate in a number of ways. First, the Clinton State Department had no power to veto or approve that transaction. It could do neither. Here’s how it does work. By law, when a foreign company wants to buy anything with potential national security implications, an interagency committee of the federal government must approve it. The committee was given a broad mandate under President Reagan to advise the president on foreign investment transactions. That committee is called CFIUS, or the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States. It includes nine department heads. The secretary of the treasury is the chairperson. The rest are the heads of the Departments of Justice, Homeland Security, Commerce, Defense, State, and Energy, plus the office of the U.S. Trade Representative and the Office of Science and Technology Policy. That’s CFIUS. The nine department heads all approved the sale of Uranium One. It was unanimous, not a Hillary Clinton approval. We don’t know definitively whether Secretary Clinton participated at all directly. The then-Secretary of State—I should say Assistant Secretary of State Jose Fernando represented State on CFIUS. He says she did not, reporting that the secretary never intervened.
Further, neither Secretary Clinton nor the committee as a whole could stop any deal of this kind. The committee members evaluate a sale of anything potentially related to national security. By law, if one member objects, the president and only the president can veto such a transaction. No committee member of the nine objected. 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 operators of those reactors have many other sources for their uranium. Last year, 89 percent of uranium used by power plants in the U.S. came from foreign producers, according to the EIA.
Regarding the donations to the Clinton Foundation, again, the accusation is that Hillary Clinton’s State Department approved the transfer of 20 percent of America’s uranium holdings to Russia while nine investors in the deal funneled $145 million to the Clinton Foundation. Here, the timing is inaccurate. Most of those donations were from one man, Frank Giustra, the founder of the company in Canada. He gave $131 million to the Clinton Foundation. But Giustra says he sold his stake in the company back in 2007. That is three years before the uranium/Russia deal and a year and a half before Hillary Clinton became secretary of state. We can’t independently verify his statement, but if true, the donation to the Clinton Foundation from confirmed Uranium One investors drops from more than $145 million to $4 million. The Clinton Foundation did not disclose those donations. After a New York Times story exposed them, the foundation reported it made mistakes, saying it had disclosed donations from a Canadian charity but did not specify the names of the donors to that charity who had associations with the uranium company.
Even so, the accusation is predicated on the charge that Secretary Clinton approved the sale. She did not. A committee of nine evaluated the sale, the president approved the sale, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and others had to offer permits, and none of the uranium was exported for use by the U.S. to Russia. That is Uranium One.
So if Fox's top news anchor says there's no there there, the question has to be asked: Why does Fox News continue to allow the rest of the network to promote what it has now acknowledged is fake news?
Watch Smith all but shout out, “Bulls***!” on his own network’s coverage below, from the November 14, 2017 Shepard Smith Reporting.