UK

Donald Trump Accuses 'Fake Media' Of Not Reporting An Actual Fake News Story

Again.

19/10/2017 15:14 BST | Updated 19/10/2017 17:52 BST

Donald Trump has once again asserted that Hillary Clinton sold uranium to Russia in exchange for donations to a charitable foundation bearing her name.

Despite the story being widely debunked when it surfaced last year, the President of the United States attacked the “fake media” for not reporting it.

In brief, the original accusation - in a book written by a Breitbart editor-at-large - is that as Secretary of State under President Obama, Clinton green-lighted the purchase of mining company, Uranium One, by Russia’s nuclear agency, Rosatom, at the same time as the Clinton Foundation received $145 million in donations from nine people associated with company.

This, allegedly, gave Russia 20 per cent of the US’s uranium whilst simultaneously lining the pockets of the Clinton.

Reuters Staff / Reuters
Trump and Clinton are not exactly friends.

Only it didn’t.

The falsehood remains a favourite of right-wing and conspiratorial websites who conveniently ignore that:

  • Clinton did not have veto power over the deal as she was one of nine people involved on the panel that deals with such decisions
  • Clinton may not have even been involved in the decision-making process as she “never intervened” on such matters
  • Any uranium could not and has not been exported or given to Russia as it remains under the control of American subsidiaries, as stated by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission
  • Of the $145 million, most of it, $131.3 million, came from Frank Giustra who sold of his entire stake in Uranium One in 2007, 18 months before Clinton became Secretary of State and three years before the Russia deal
  • The Clinton Administration has been justifiably criticised for not disclosing donations

Trump has often made the claim but his latest outburst may well have been prompted by further details recently published in The Hill, which obtained evidence that Rosatom was being investigated for corruption by numerous US agencies at the time of the deal.

It also reports:

“They also obtained an eyewitness account — backed by documents — indicating Russian nuclear officials had routed millions of dollars to the US designed to benefit former President Bill Clinton’s charitable foundation during the time Secretary of State Hillary Clinton served on a government body that provided a favourable decision to Moscow, sources told The Hill.”

Again, this is being seized upon by conspiracy websites - and the President of the United States.

But the piece details nothing new to suggest Clinton received money to green-light the deal or that any American uranium is now in the possession of Russia.

It is in fact more an expose of the “bribery, kickbacks, extortion and money laundering” used by Russian, state-owned organisations.

Trump continued the fake news theme shortly after his tweet about Clinton when he retweeted this:

Trump may well be simply trying to deflect attention from a number of controversies he has found himself embroiled in this week.

He has been forced to hastily send a cheque for $25,000 to the father of a slain US Army sergeant after it emerged the US President had personally promised the money and not followed through with the offer.

On Wednesday, Trump denied an account by Representative Frederica Wilson of Florida that he had told the widow of Sergeant La David T. Johnson, who was killed in a firefight in Niger, that the man knew “what he signed up for.”

“I didn’t say what that congresswoman said,” Trump told reporters earlier in the day. “I had a very nice conversation with the woman, with the wife who ... sounded like a lovely woman,” he said.

Sergeant Johnson’s mother, Cowanda Jones-Johnson, told The Washington Post on Wednesday that she was present during Trump’s call to her son’s widow and she supported the congresswoman’s account of Trump’s comment.

“President Trump did disrespect my son and my daughter and also me and my husband,” Jones-Johnson said.