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Recently Esquire Magazine produced a piece challenging the “Uranium One/Clinton” scandal with a powerful presentation by Fox News Shep Smith.

Their piece is at:

On or about 11.14.17 Shepherd Smith broadcast the piece in question and we transcribed it entirely.  It is rather long, but very important for many reasons including:  What is going on at FOX if two of their top people, Shep Smith and Sean Hannity are on utterly opposite sides of an issue?  Some of Shep’s material is questionable, which we point out in our analysis following the transcript:

“So what are the facts?  What is Uranium One?  Uranium One is the name of a South Africa based mining company.  Back in 2007 it merged with Urasia Energy based in Canada.  And in 2010 the mining arm of the Russian nuclear agency Rosaton bought controlling interest in the company.  Among other places that mining company had operations in Wyoming that amounted to what the Nuclear Regulatory Commissions, or the NRC said at the time was about 20% of the uranium production capacity of the US.  Today the NRC says it is about 10%.

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Now, here’s the accusation, nine people involved in the deal made donations to the Clinton Foundation totaling more than $140 million.  In exchange Secretary of State Clinton approved the sale to the Russians, a “quid pro quo.”  The accusation first made by Peter Schwiezer, the Senior Editor, at Large, of the website Brietbart in his 2015 book “Clinton Cash.” The next year candidate Donald Trump cited the accusation as an example of Clinton corruption.”

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Donald  Trump video: “Hillary Clinton’s State Department approved the transfer of 20% of America’s uranium holdings to Russia while nine investors in the deal funneled $145 million to the Clinton Foundation.”

“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 CIFUS, 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 US Trade Representative and the Office of Science and Technology Policy, that’s CIFUS.  The nine department heads all approved the sale of uranium to Uranium One.

It was unanimous, not a Hillary Clinton approval.  We don’t know definitively whether or not Hillary Clinton participated at all, directly. Then Secretary of State, I should say Assistant Secretary of State Francisco Hernando on CIFUS, he says she never intervened.  Further, neither Secretary Clinton or CIFUS could stop any deal of this kind.  The committee members evaluate a sale of anything potentially involved in 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 24, 2010 and in doing so stipulated that no uranium produced may be exported.

So where does the uranium go?  Well, the Energy Information Agency, or EIA, reports that unless special permission is granted by governmental agencies Uranium One sells the uranium it mines in the United States to civilian power reactors in the United States, but operators of those reactors have many other sources of their uranium.  Last year 89% of the uranium used by power plants in the United States came from foreign producers, the EIA. Regarding the donations to the Clinton Foundation, again the accusation is that Hillary Clinton’s State Department approved the transfer of 20% 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 Wistra the founder of the company in Canada.  He gave $131 million to the Clinton Foundation, but Wistra says he sold his stake in the company back to 2007 that’s three years before the uranium Russian deal and a year-and-a-half before Hillary Clinton became Secretary of State.  We can’t independently verify his  statement.  But if certain the donation to the Clinton Foundation confirm the donations drop from $145 million to four million Dollars.  The Clinton Foundation did not disclose those donations after a New York Times story exposed them.  The Foundation reported it “made mistakes” saying the names of the donors to that charity, but associations with the uranium company.  Even so the accusation is predicated on the charge that Secretary Clinton having 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 offer permits and none of the uranium was exported for use by the US to Russia.  That is Uranium One.”  (End of editorial)

Why would a foreign corporation would want to own assets it could not realize or even control?  While it possible they could make some money with the investment why are they investing abroad when there are many opportunities at home?

Shepherd Smith is right that Hillary could not approve the deal, but she could stop it and that is just as powerful a position, but she could easily sell it to a capitulating President. Liberals believe the way to peace is to cut everyone down to the same size.  Apparently they never spent any time on an elementary school playground.  Bullies control until adults enforce the peace.  Mr. Obama would be open to letting Russia have all the uranium they wanted as a gesture of peace.  And, he may know the greater truth:

Russia will never attack us as long as they have frequent crop failures as we are the greatest grain producers on the planet and keep the price down and the availability high.  Grain is our greatest weapon.  When people starve they storm the palaces of power and kill the Kings.  Russians know this better than anyone.  The ink of their history is the blood of inept rulers.

That the deal was approved by the CIFUS committee only means President Obama wanted it approved.  We need to know who actually has the power in this situation.  Is the Smith version accurate or is the Hannity version the truth?  That is a question we will answer, but wanted to publish this now as there seems to be some urgency in the issue.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author and are not not necessarily either shared or endorsed by

Adrian Vance

Adrian Vance is a writer and producer of educational films, filmstrips and audio programs with over 325 productions from script to screen. See a partial list of his credits at He has written for ten national magazines, been on the masthead of two as an Editor, written 20 books. He is an FCC licensed broadcaster with ten years of on-air experience in talk radio and television. He is a frequent participant on CRN Talk Radio. He is an inventor and US Patent holder. His blog, "The Two Minute Conservative" is at It includes over 4500 daily pieces.


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