Fox News’s Shepard Smith hits Trump for ‘inaccurate’ claims on Uranium One deal
Fox News host Shepard Smith blasted President Trump on Tuesday for “inaccurate” claims about the Uranium One agreement following Trump’s repeated calls for the Justice Department to investigate the deal.
On his show, Smith laid out the controversy surrounding the Obama-era deal, which involved the sale of a uranium company that did some mining in the United States to a Russian company.
“Here’s the accusation: Nine people involved in the deal made donations to the Clinton Foundation totaling more than $140 million,” Smith said. “In exchange, Secretary of State [Hillary] Clinton approved the sale to the Russians — a quid pro quo.”
“The accusation [was] first made by Peter Schweizer, the senior editor at large of the website Breitbart, in his 2015 book, ‘Clinton Cash,’ ” Smith continued. “The next year, candidate Donald Trump cited the accusation as an example of Clinton corruption.”
Smith then played a clip from a June 2016 speech Trump gave in New York City in which he repeated the claim.
“Hillary Clinton’s State Department approved the transfer of 20 percent of America’s uranium holdings to Russia, while nine investors in the deal funneled $145 million to the Clinton Foundation,” Trump said in the speech.
Smith called the statement “inaccurate in a number of ways.”
“The Clinton State Department had no power to approve or veto that transaction. It could do neither,” the Fox News host noted.
Smith then laid out the approval process for the sale, which involves a nine-person committee made up of the heads of federal agencies, and noted that no one person could approve or veto the deal — only former President Obama could do either.
The Fox News anchor also detailed Trump’s claim that the Clinton Foundation received money after the deal was completed.
“Here, the timing is inaccurate,” Smith said, noting that the source of the majority of the donations, Frank Giustra, said he sold his stake in the uranium company before the company was sold and before Clinton became secretary of State.
“The accusation is predicated on the charge that Secretary Clinton approved the sale,” Smith said. “She did not. A committee of nine evaluated the sale, the president approved the sale, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and others had to offer permits, and none of the uranium was exported for use by the U.S. to Russia. That is Uranium One.”
Trump has repeatedly called on the Justice Department to investigate Clinton, saying earlier this month that he was “very unhappy” that federal officials were not investigating her.
“Hopefully they are doing something,” Trump said of the Justice Department probing Clinton during a radio interview with host Larry O’Connor on Washington’s WMAL. “At some point maybe we’re going to all have it out.”
In recent weeks, Republican lawmakers have called for a second special counsel to be appointed to investigate matters involving Clinton, including the Uranium One deal.
But Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Tuesday pushed back on the immediate need for a new special counsel during an appearance on Capitol Hill, saying it would take “a factual basis that meets the standards of a special counsel” to appoint a new investigator.
“We will use the proper standards and that’s the only thing I can tell you, Mr. Jordan,” Sessions said in a heated exchange with Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio). “You can have your idea but sometimes we have to study what the facts are and to evaluate whether it meets the standards it requires.”