As coverage of “the real Russian conspiracy” ramps up on Fox News, anchor Shepard Smith has been notably absent from joining in the discussion. The “Uranium One” story has been a convenient topic for conservatives to bring up as Robert Mueller’s investigation picks up steam, and it centers around a 2010 purchase of American uranium mines by a Russia-linked company — which had investors who donated money to Hillary Clinton. One of the nine agencies overlooking the deal was the State Department under Clinton, although she says she wasn’t involved. Some Republicans are convinced it’s a scandal.
This week, Smith finally addressed the topic on his show and dismantled the narrative pushed by some at his network. After playing a video clip of President Trump regurgitating Fox News talking points on the deal, Smith declared that “the Clinton State Department had no power to veto or approve that transaction.”
“By law, when a foreign company wants to buy anything with potential national security implications, an interagency committee with the federal government must approve it,” Smith explained.
After explaining the makeup of the committee, Smith pointed out that the “nine department heads” of the committee approved the sale of Uranium One. “It was unanimous, not a Hillary Clinton approval,” Smith said.
“We don’t know definitely whether Secretary Clinton participated at all directly,” he continued.
“Further, neither Secretary Clinton nor the committee as a whole could stop any deal of this kind,” Smith said. “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.”
On the claim that the nine investors funneled $145 million to the Clinton Foundation, Smith pointed out that the timing of the conspiracy theory 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.”
“…the accusation is predicated on the charge that Secretary Clinton approved the sale,” Smith concluded. “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.”
Watch the segment below, via Media Matters:
Fox's Shep Smith takes apart the Uranium One conspiracy his Fox News colleagues have been relentlessly hyping pic.twitter.com/HZBlBtFvo4
— Media Matters (@mmfa) November 14, 2017
Featured image via screen grab