Hillary Clinton got her facts wrong Friday when she was discussing the brewing Uranium One scandal on a radio show — apparently mixing up her megadonors when responding to accusations of pay-to-play when she was secretary of state.
Clinton was speaking to 77WABC’s Rita Cosby, who brought up the 2010 deal that sold Canadian company Uranium One to Russian energy giant Rosatom. The sale had to be approved by the Obama administration, as Uranium One owned 20 percent of U.S. uranium reserves.
Government Accountability Institute (GAI) President and Breitbart News Senior Editor-at-Large Peter Schweizer broke the Uranium One scandal in his 2015 book Clinton Cash: The Untold Story of How and Why Foreign Governments and Businesses Helped Make Bill and Hillary Rich. In the book, he reported that Clinton’s State Department, along with other federal agencies, approved the transfer of 20 percent of all U.S. uranium to Russia and that nine foreign investors in the deal gave $145 million to Hillary and Bill Clinton’s personal charity, the Clinton Foundation.
The New York Times confirmed Schweizer’s Uranium One revelations in a 4,000-word front-page story. The scandal dogged Clinton through the campaign and hit the headlines this year again in October, when The Hill reported that ahead of the deal, the FBI had uncovered “substantial evidence that Russian nuclear industry officials were engaged in bribery, kickbacks, extortion and money laundering” to expand Russia’s nuclear footprint in the U.S. as early as 2009.
According to The Hill, the agency also found that Russian nuclear officials had routed “millions of dollars” to the U.S. to benefit the Clinton Foundation.
During the interview Friday, Cosby asked Clinton about millions of dollars of donations to the Foundation by the head of Uranium One, donations Clinton failed to disclose.
“One of the things people point to in the Uranium One story, it troubles them that the Clinton Foundation failed to disclose, it was over $2 million in donations from the chairman of Uranium One as the deal was being reviewed [and] considered,” the host asked.
Cosby was referring to Ian Telfer, who was chairman of Uranium One when it was bought by Rosatom and, according to the New York Times, gave $2.35 million to the Foundation. According to the Times:
[Telfer’s] donations through the Fernwood Foundation included $1 million reported in 2009, the year his company appealed to the American Embassy to help it keep its mines in Kazakhstan; $250,000 in 2010, the year the Russians sought majority control; as well as $600,000 in 2011 and $500,000 in 2012. Mr. Telfer said that his donations had nothing to do with his business dealings, and that he had never discussed Uranium One with Mr. or Mrs. Clinton.
However, in the interview, a clearly annoyed Clinton shot down the accurate claim as “not true” and dismissed it as one of the right-wing’s “crazy allegations.”
“That’s not true. The gentleman in question had sold his interests in Uranium One some years before, it’s just not true Rita,” she said. “I know the right does a great job of throwing these crazy allegations but just look at the facts.”
It is possible that Clinton is getting Telfer confused with Frank Giustra — a Canadian mining financier who did indeed sell his stake in Uranium One years before the deal took place. Giustra donated $31.3 million and pledged an additional $100 million more to the Clinton Foundation, according to the Times.
While Clinton attempted to brush off the accusations of scandal, lawmakers in the House and Senate are taking them more seriously and are opening investigations into the Obama-era deal in light of the Hill’s recent reporting.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions told House Republicans this month that he is considering appointing a special counsel to investigate the matter, and has ordered federal investigators to see if one is warranted.
Adam Shaw is a Breitbart News politics reporter based in New York. Follow Adam on Twitter: @AdamShawNY.