In a clear effort to discredit President Donald Trump and keep Hillary Clinton clean, CBS Anchor Scott Pelley dismissed claims that the Clinton family received payments from Russia for American Uranium. “Well, today, President Trump sewed confusion on the Russian investigation. He asked why the media are not covering, quote, ‘Money from Russia to Clinton for the sale of uranium,’” he announced during CBS Evening News, “Well, here's why: no credible source alleges that Hillary Clinton was paid by Russia for American uranium.”
But Pelley’s bold assertion is highly misleading. It wasn’t Hillary who was alleged to have been paid for the Uranium, it was her husband and the family foundation. And there was not one, but two credible sources who found those connections.
As many would remember, these assertions were brought up in the book Clinton Cash, which was written by Peter Schweizer. One of his earlier books, Throw Them All Out, opened the nation’s eyes to how members of Congress take advantage of their insider knowledge and position to enrich themselves. The book was so successful that Congress was forced to pass bill limited that ability, even though they later removed it.
In addition to Schweizer, The New York Times spent considerable time looking into these claims and found them to be credible. The Times found that Uranium One’s chairman used an intermediary organization to donate $2.35 million to the Clinton Foundation “as the Russians gradually assumed control:”
And shortly after the Russians announced their intention to acquire a majority stake in Uranium One, Mr. Clinton received $500,000 for a Moscow speech from a Russian investment bank with links to the Kremlin that was promoting Uranium One stock.
“Whether the donations played any role in the approval of the uranium deal is unknown,” the Times noted, “But the episode underscores the special ethical challenges presented by the Clinton Foundation, headed by a former president who relied heavily on foreign cash to accumulate $250 million in assets even as his wife helped steer American foreign policy as secretary of state, presiding over decisions with the potential to benefit the foundation’s donors.” And this is only a mere fraction of the controversy.
Pelley tried to defend Hillary, stating that the sale of Uranium One “was approved by a committee, including Clinton's State Department, but also including the departments of Treasury, Justice, Defense, Homeland Security, Commerce, and Energy, plus the U.S. Trade representative, and the Office of Science and Technology. Separately, the deal was okayed by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.”
But Schweizer had previously blown a hole in that defense. “What they ignore, of course, is that no other agency head received $145 million in donations from nine shareholders in the deal,” he wrote, “Imagine if a jury of nine individuals is hearing a murder case and one of the jurors had financial ties to the individual on trial. If the jury came back 9-0 for acquittal, does that mean no bribery took place or no conflict of interest existed? Of course not.”
Pelley’s definitive declaration on the matter was poorly researched at best, or purposely deceptive at worst. This perceived rebuke of yet another claim by the President is sure to garner him vast praise from his colleagues in the liberal media. Pelley’s frequent televised denouements of Trump’s statements have led to him becoming part of the story.
CBS Evening News
March 29, 2017
6:37:00 PM Eastern
SCOTT PELLEY: Well, today, President Trump sewed confusion on the Russian investigation. He asked why the media are not covering, quote, "Money from Russia to Clinton for the sale of uranium?" Well, here's why-- no credible source alleges that Hillary Clinton was paid by Russia for American uranium. But like most conspiracy theories, there is an atom of truth in this.
By 2013, a Russian company purchased 20% of American uranium deposits. That was approved by a committee, including Clinton's State Department, but also including the departments of Treasury, Justice, Defense, Homeland Security, Commerce, and Energy, plus the U.S. Trade representative, and the Office of Science and Technology. Separately, the deal was okayed by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Secretary Clinton could not have stopped the deal.