MSNBC: Don’t Worry, Hillary Says Russia/Uranium Scandal is ‘Nonsense’

In yet another example of MSNBC haughtily dismissing the Uranium/Clinton/Russia scandal, on Tuesday, after the House Intelligence Committee announced a new investigation into the Obama administration deal, anchors Andrea Mitchell and Craig Melvin touted Hillary Clinton denouncing the story as “nonsense” and “baloney.”

Here’s how Mitchell reacted to the House committee’s noon press conference announcing the probe:

What you’ve just seen is Devin Nunes, the House Intelligence Chairman – who was forced to recuse himself after what many said were missteps in the House Intelligence investigation into the Russian possible involvement in the U.S. election – Devin Nunes now taking on and opening a new probe, saying that they are investigating what President Trump has been demanding be investigated, which is whether there was a conflict of interest when the Obama administration in the past years approved sales of uranium to a Russian-owned company.

 

 

After trashing Nunes, she then quoted the failed Democratic presidential nominee: “The implication that somehow Hillary Clinton, as Secretary of State, was involved. She has said it’s nonsense, that she had taken herself out of any decision making and was not involved.”

One hour later, Melvin turned to NBC News correspondent Ken Dilanian and wondered: “Ken, why is this uranium story an issue right now?” Dilanian derided the topic: “Well, Craig, there’s an obvious political angle. This allows the Republicans to say, ‘See, the Democrats have a Russia problem as well,’ to distract from the Trump-Russia investigation.”

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He admitted that “there’s also a substantive issue” and explained:

There’s been some new reporting in The Hill newspaper in recent days that suggests that there was a broad FBI counterintelligence inquiry into whether the Russians were using bribery and corruption to try to infiltrate the U.S. nuclear industry. And that seems to relate back to this 2010 deal where a Russian company purchased from a Canadian company basically production facilities that controlled 20% of U.S. uranium. And that had to be approved by the U.S. government when Hillary Clinton was Secretary of State.

Melvin chimed in: “Hillary Clinton addressed this a few days ago. Here she is talking about how this uranium deal, and the investigation, the subsequent investigation perhaps, just a few days ago. Take a listen.” A clip ran of Clinton ranting: “I would say it’s the same baloney they’ve been pedaling for years. And there’s been no – no credible evidence by anyone. In fact, it’s been debunked repeatedly, and will continue to be debunked.”

Melvin followed: “Alright, the former Democratic nominee calling it baloney. Has it been debunked a few times, Ken?” Dilanian responded:

Well, Craig, what’s been debunked is this idea we’ve given control of U.S. uranium to the Russians. The uranium is still in the United States, these are subsidiaries, it can’t be exported.

But what’s at issue is that while these transactions were going on, the Canadian interests involved contributed $2 million to the Clinton Foundation and Bill Clinton went to Moscow and made a speech and was paid half a million dollars by one of the investment banks involved in the deal. This was from The New York Times, which did a front-page expose on this early in presidential campaign.

The issue, though, is that there’s no evidence that Hillary Clinton played any role in the decision by the U.S. government to let this sale go forward. Yes, the State Department played a role and somebody in the State Department made a decision. But there’s no evidence that it was controversial or that it rose to her level. In fact, I spoke to a Republican lawyer a few minutes ago who said, look, there’s no doubt that the Russians were spreading a lot of money around trying to make this happen, but there’s no evidence that it got to Hillary’s level.

Here some other recent instances of MSNBC being dismissive of the scandal:

Morning Joe Attacks Trump For Drawing Attention to Blackout of Clinton-Uranium Scandal

Despite Trump’s Shaming, Nets Ignore Clinton-Uranium Scandal

Brian Williams Finally Mentions Clinton/Russia/Uranium Scandal, Only To Dismiss It

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Here are transcripts of the October 24 segments:

Andrea Mitchell Reports
12:00 PM ET

(...)

ANDREA MITCHELL: This is Andrea Mitchell in New York. What you’ve just seen is Devin Nunes, the House Intelligence Chairman – who was forced to recuse himself after what many said were missteps in the House Intelligence investigation into the Russian possible involvement in the U.S. election – Devin Nunes now taking on and opening a new probe, saying that they are investigating what President Trump has been demanding be investigated, which is whether there was a conflict of interest when the Obama administration in the past years approved sales of uranium to a Russian-owned company. The implication that somehow Hillary Clinton, as Secretary of State, was involved. She has said it’s nonsense, that she had taken herself out of any decision making and was not involved. So that is a new investigation by the House Intelligence Committee, which has been under fire for its failure to proceed and to have a coherent investigation on the House side into the Russian investigation. That’s going on, on Capitol Hill.

(...)


MSNBC Live With Craig Melvin
1:36 PM ET

CRAIG MELVIN: Some more breaking news on Capitol Hill right now. The leadership of the House Intelligence Committee has just announced an investigation into a 2010 uranium deal that involved Russia. Committee Chairman Devin Nunes wants to know if that matter was investigated, and if it was, by whom.

REP. DEVIN NUNES [R-CA, CHAIRMAN, INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE]: This is just the beginning of this probe. We are – we’re not going to jump to any conclusions at this time. But one of the things, as you know, that we’re concerned about is whether or not there was an FBI investigation. Was there a DOJ investigation? And if so, why was Congress not informed of this matter?

MELVIN: NBC’s Ken Dilanian is in Washington for us. Ken, why is this uranium story an issue right now?

KEN DILANIAN: Well, Craig, there’s an obvious political angle. This allows the Republicans to say, “See, the Democrats have a Russia problem as well,” to distract from the Trump-Russia investigation.

But there’s also a substantive issue here, Craig. There’s been some new reporting in The Hill newspaper in recent days that suggests that there was a broad FBI counterintelligence inquiry into whether the Russians were using bribery and corruption to try to infiltrate the U.S. nuclear industry. And that seems to relate back to this 2010 deal where a Russian company purchased from a Canadian company basically production facilities that controlled 20% of U.S. uranium. And that had to be approved by the U.S. government when Hillary Clinton was Secretary of State, Craig.

MELVIN: Hillary Clinton addressed this a few days ago. Here she is talking about how this uranium deal, and the investigation, the subsequent investigation perhaps, just a few days ago. Take a listen.

HILLARY CLINTON [OCTOBER 20/C-SPAN]: I would say it’s the same baloney they’ve been pedaling for years. And there’s been no – no credible evidence by anyone. In fact, it’s been debunked repeatedly, and will continue to be debunked.

MELVIN: Alright, the former Democratic nominee calling it baloney. Has it been debunked a few times, Ken?

DILANIAN: Well, Craig, what’s been debunked is this idea we’ve given control of U.S. uranium to the Russians. The uranium is still in the United States, these are subsidiaries, it can’t be exported.

But what’s at issue is that while these transactions were going on, the Canadian interests involved contributed $2 million to the Clinton Foundation and Bill Clinton went to Moscow and made a speech and was paid half a million dollars by one of the investment banks involved in the deal. This was from The New York Times, which did a front-page expose on this early in presidential campaign.

The issue, though, is that there’s no evidence that Hillary Clinton played any role in the decision by the U.S. government to let this sale go forward. Yes, the State Department played a role and somebody in the State Department made a decision. But there’s no evidence that it was controversial or that it rose to her level. In fact, I spoke to a Republican lawyer a few minutes ago who said, look, there’s no doubt that the Russians were spreading a lot of money around trying to make this happen, but there’s no evidence that it got to Hillary’s level. Craig?  

MELVIN: Alright, Ken Dilanian there on the other breaking news on the Hill, this House Intelligence Committee now announcing a probe of that uranium deal from 2010. Ken, thank you.


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CyberAlerts Russia Liberals & Democrats Political Scandals Russian uranium deal MSNBC Andrea Mitchell Reports Video Andrea Mitchell Craig Melvin Hillary Clinton