On Friday, Hillary Clinton campaign spokesperson Brian Fallon responded to the chaos swirling around the former secretary of state’s dealings with foreign countries and associated entities that donated to the Clinton Foundation.
Fallon wrote that neither Peter Schweizer’s Clinton Cash nor Thursday’s New York Times report detailing ties between Hillary, Bill, the Clinton Foundation, and a Russian-owned uranium company called Uranium One present any “direct evidence.” Fallon claims:
[T]he Times story — like the book on which it is based — wrongly suggests that Hillary Clinton’s State Department pushed for the sale’s approval to reward donors who had a financial interest in the deal. Ironically, buried within the story is original reporting that debunks the allegation that then-Secretary Clinton played any role in the review of the sale.
The problem: all of Fallon’s defenses of Clinton ring hollow.
On Friday, Politico spelled out the Clinton team’s overall three-pronged strategy for quashing the alleged bribery scandal:
We have three rules: (1) You can’t stop the onslaught so just act quickly to defuse it; (2) If there is no ‘there’ there the story will burn hot, fast and out; and (3) No handwringing – [Chairman John] Podesta won’t have it.
That response is insufficient, to say the least. Attempting to simply shrug off serious allegations regarding the chairman of the Russian Nuclear Agency-controlled Uranium One funneling $2.35 million to the Clinton Foundation won’t cut it. Despite claims that there is no “bombshell” from the Clinton camp, this is a bombshell: it’s a problem when a Russian-controlled company’s head pays cash to the foundation of the secretary of state at the same time it required Hillary Clinton’s State Department to approve activities. That bombshell becomes even bigger when we recognize that the Clintons did not publicly identify the donors, in violation of a memorandum of understanding with the Obama administration.
Hillary Clinton does not get to decide what constitutes a bombshell. The American people do. And if there truly is no “there” there, then why did Hillary Clinton destroy her emails? Why did she violate that memo of understanding with the Obama administration? Why would the Clinton Foundation have to refile its tax returns? Simply put, Hillary Clinton hid a foreign donation from the head of a company controlled by the Kremlin and seeking access to American and Kazakh uranium – a donation that occurred at the same time as a State Department decision benefiting that company.
Hillary Clinton and her team seem to expect that the media world will resonate to them the same way they did in the 1990s. Matt Drudge changed the coverage of the Clintons by destroying the cozy relationship between the mainstream media, who wanted to kill the Lewinsky story, and the reader; now media are punished for failures to report. Should the media downplay this scandal, the American people will chalk it up to media bias, rather than the notion that there is no scandal to investigate.
And the media have plenty of questions to ask. They should ask the Clintons whether they plan to return the $2.35 million in contributions from the Russian government-connected Uranium One chairman, as well as Bill’s hefty speaking fees from the Kremlin. Given that these donations went unreported, at the very least, they should consider giving back the money to avoid the impression of impropriety.
They should ask whether Hillary was simply asleep at the wheel or corrupt when the Uranium One deal allowing the Russians to acquire control of one-fifth of America’s uranium went through. Even the Clinton campaign has claimed, quoting an assistant secretary of state to the effect that “Mrs. Clinton never intervened with me” on any matter like this. So what exactly did Hillary do for four years to protect Americans from Kremlin encroachment into the US uranium market, as well as the Kazakh uranium market? Where was the secretary of state?
They should ask why Hillary was willing to pawn off decisions regarding America’s nuclear security to a subordinate, given the Russians’ more-than-spotty record regarding promises on such security. As The New York Times reported, it turns out that Uranium One routinely “packed [yellowcake uranium] into drums and trucked [them] off to a processing plant in Canada.” The Nuclear Regulatory Commission could only shrug and state that “‘to the best of our knowledge’ most of the uranium…was returned for use in the United States.” Most, not all. Where, exactly is the rest?
Blood is now in the water. The newfound Democratic enthusiasm for a Hillary primary opponent evidences hesitance about a candidate the majority of the American public finds untrustworthy. And no amount of spin will dissipate this scandal without some actual answers first.
Ben Shapiro is Senior Editor-At-Large of Breitbart News and author of the new book, The People vs. Barack Obama: The Criminal Case Against The Obama Administration (Threshold Editions, June 10, 2014). He is also Editor-in-Chief of TruthRevolt.org. Follow Ben Shapiro on Twitter @benshapiro.