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WaPo Fact Checker Misleads on Uranium One Deal to Protect Clintons


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Glenn Kessler is the Washington Post’s self-appointed “Fact Checker,” yet his attempt to set the record straight on a 2010 deal to transfer of 20 percent of the U.S.’s uranium capacity to the Russian government is full of omissions and misdirections–errors that cast doubt on Mr. Kessler’s intent.

Kessler says claims that Hillary “gave away” 20 percent of the US’ uranium to Russia are inaccurate. Yet neither statement he cites in the piece claims that the uranium was given away. Kessler is setting up a straw man—a strange thing for an alleged “fact checker” to do. He’s trying to portray the claims about the uranium as though Hillary Clinton personally handed Vladimir Putin a suitcase full of yellowcake.

His depiction also conveniently omits what makes the story truly scandalous–the massive amounts of money that flowed into the Clinton Foundation and the family’s personal coffers from parties tied to the Uranium One deal. The Clinton Foundation received tens of millions of dollars from businessmen tied to the transaction in the time leading up to the deal, of which millions were undisclosed. (Both of these facts have been confirmed by the New York Times.)

This was a clear violation of Secretary Clinton’s memorandum of understanding with the Obama administration that they would disclose all contributions. (Kessler, of course, has no interest in this.) Her husband, former President Bill Clinton, was also paid half a million dollars by a Russian bank with close Kremlin ties in June 2010. Bill even met with Vladimir Putin after the speech.

For Kessler to describe the uranium as being “given away” is to truly misunderstand the transactional nature of the story.

Kessler also claims that the transfer of Uranium One to the Russians is not big deal: Uranium One doesn’t have an export license. Who cares if Russia controls the uranium if it can’t leave the country? But Kessler apparently didn’t even run a Google search in his fact check, because a 2015 New York Times investigation found that uranium mined by the company regularly crossed the border into Canada for processing. That certainly matters more than an export license. But Kessler doesn’t seem to care.


Who fact checks the fact checkers?

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