Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by Editors Created with Sketch. The Uranium One Thing Is a Non-Story and Here Is Why

 

It always amazes me how false legends get created, and soon, without any facts, they are cemented in everyone’s minds, the details get lost, and they become widely believed, even without evidence.

So it is with the Uranium One story, which is making the rounds again, thanks to a Tweet last week from the President who said, “Uranium deal to Russia, with Clinton help and Obama Administration knowledge, is the biggest story that Fake Media doesn’t want to follow!”

And so we have this false legend, already solidifying in people’s minds that Hillary Clinton sold off a large chunk of America’s uranium to Russia, probably in exchange for an enormous bribe to the Clinton Foundation. Because, when it comes to Hillary Clinton, people will believe almost anything. Look, I don’t like Hillary Clinton either, but the real stuff is bad enough, we don’t need to make up anything extra.

Now, there was a Russian bribery story involving uranium, but you have to go beyond the headlines to find the details. It involved a Russian named Vadim Mikerin. But the bribes weren’t paid by Russians to Americans, it was the other way around. Kickbacks were paid by an American trucking company to Russians get no-bid contracts to ship uranium. And the “scandal” is that the FBI allegedly kept this secret while the Uranium One deal was being approved.

So what is the Uranium One deal? It involves Willow Creek, a uranium mine in Wyoming. I keep seeing it reported (uncritically) that Willow Creek produces 20% of American uranium, but that’s not accurate. The amount varies from year to year, but in 2011-2016, Willow Creek put out less than 5% of us US domestic Uranium production capacity. And while I can’t pin it down, Willow Creek sits on something like 4% of US reserves.

However, the thing to understand is that the US doesn’t produce that much uranium. Only about 11% of the uranium delivered to American power plants is produced domestically. The rest, 89% comes from foreign sources. Who sells us uranium? A quarter of it comes from Canada, 24% from Kazakhstan, 20% from Australia, and the rest comes from a slew of other countries from Namibia to China. Oh, and we get 14% out of Russia.

Why do the Russians sell us uranium? Well, they used to sell us even more. We had a 20-year agreement that finished in 2013 known as the Megatons to Megawatts Program. The Russians sold us surplus uranium from retired nuclear weapons that had been blended down to low enrichment for use in our power plants. The truth is that they can sell us uranium because they have more of it than they’ll ever need. (I’ve heard it suggested, but couldn’t track it down, that transporting this uranium was what the Mikerin bribery deal was about.)

Okay, so the Willow Creek mine was bought by a Canadian company called Uranium One, which, like lots of other companies, ran into financial problems in 2009. At that time, Rosatom, the Russian state nuclear energy company, through a subsidiary, bought part of the company. They bought the rest in 2010.

A purchase like that requires approval from the US government, specifically something called the CFIUS as well as from the NRC, plus Canadian and Kazakh regulators. What is CFIUS? It’s the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States. It is made up of representatives from 16 US agencies and departments, including the Commerce Department, DHS, DOD, and the State Department. They approved the Uranium One sale.

There’s no evidence that Hillary Clinton was involved or even knew. The State Department has a seat on the CFIUS committee, but even if they bribed Hillary Clinton to get this deal though, and Clinton ordered her CFIUS representative to approve the deal, there’s 15 other agencies that make up the committee, plus the NRC, plus Canadian regulators.

Nor is there evidence that Uranium One bribed anyone. They wouldn’t need to. The sale of Uranium One was not controversial because even if this was some nefarious Russian plot to steal America’s uranium, they’d still need a license to export it. The closest thing that anyone has found was a small donation to the Clinton Foundation in 2007, but in terms of bribing Hillary Clinton to approve the deal, the timeline doesn’t work. (This is not to say that Hillary Clinton is clean, she’s obviously as crooked as a dog’s hind leg. But as I said above, the real stuff is bad enough, we don’t need to make up anything extra.)

To recap: This was a foreign purchase of an American uranium mine that produces a small amount of the uranium the US uses. None of the uranium has been exported. None of it can be exported. We don’t need it because we can buy it from elsewhere. The Russians don’t need it because they have a surplus. And even if anybody did, nobody would care because this is a tiny amount of uranium.

So no, Hillary Clinton didn’t steal America’s vital uranium and sell it to the Ruskies. And no, the “Fake Media” isn’t covering it up. This whole Uranium One business is a non-story. Which makes you wonder why Donald Trump is bringing it up.

There are 214 comments.

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  1. Fake John/Jane Galt Coolidge

    What ever you say comrade.

    • #1
    • October 25, 2017, at 3:39 PM PDT
    • 11 likes
  2. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Moderator Note:

    Personal attack, and completely off topic.

    Free Trade. Open Boarders. Paradise on Earth.

    • #2
    • October 25, 2017, at 3:43 PM PDT
    • 6 likes
  3. Tutti Member

    Thanks for clearing that up.

    There’s a lot of misinformation out there.

    • #3
    • October 25, 2017, at 3:47 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  4. Fred Cole Member
    Fred Cole

    Tutti (View Comment):
    Thanks for clearing that up.

    There’s a lot of misinformation out there.

    Please spread it around.

    • #4
    • October 25, 2017, at 3:50 PM PDT
    • Like
  5. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    The real stuff is bad enough? You make it sound like nothing bad happened at all here. Clinton Foundation donations are no big deal.

    • #5
    • October 25, 2017, at 3:51 PM PDT
    • 7 likes
  6. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Moderator Note:

    Personal attack on the author, and the post contained no insult to Trump.

    You lose all creditablity by attacking Trump, since we all know that you wanted to overturn 150 years of how the Electoral College worked, just to stop Trump, regardless of the chaos that would cause. So, in your attempt to change my mind, you blew it, just by attacking Trump.

    Good job!

    • #6
    • October 25, 2017, at 3:56 PM PDT
    • 7 likes
  7. Profile Photo Member

    Moderator Note:

    Personal insult.

    [redacted]

    • #7
    • October 25, 2017, at 4:02 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  8. Basil Fawlty Member
    Basil Fawlty Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Fred Cole: At that time, Rosatom, the Russian state nuclear energy company, through a subsidiary, bought part of the company. They bought the rest in 2010.

    Why?

    • #8
    • October 25, 2017, at 4:20 PM PDT
    • 12 likes
  9. Hercules Rockefeller Inactive

    From the article that appeared in The Hill:

    “In evidentiary affidavits signed in 2014 and 2015, an Energy Department agent assigned to assist the FBI in the case testified that Mikerin supervised a “racketeering scheme” that involved extortion, bribery, money laundering and kickbacks that were both directed by and provided benefit to more senior officials back in Russia.”

    That doesn’t seem like a non-story that only benefited people in the US.

    • #9
    • October 25, 2017, at 4:25 PM PDT
    • 19 likes
  10. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    You know what, never mind.

    I’ll be happy to hear a response from the OP on #5.

    • #10
    • October 25, 2017, at 4:26 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  11. Plain Tom Inactive

    Moderator Note:

    Edited to conform with CoC.

    I feel like I’m being trolled. Calling this a “non-story” is either contrarian to the point of being vacuous, or it’s [redacted.]

    • #11
    • October 25, 2017, at 4:30 PM PDT
    • 5 likes
  12. Fred Cole Member
    Fred Cole

    Plain Tom (View Comment):
    I feel like I’m being trolled. Calling this a “non-story” is either contrarian to the point of being vacuous, or [redacted.]

    So you read the piece and have substantive criticisms?

    • #12
    • October 25, 2017, at 4:32 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  13. Bob Thompson Member

    Fred,

    I think there is also a non-disclosure agreement initiated by the DoJ and signed an informant who was providing information regarding the bribery. Do you know anything about that and why such would be necessary?

    • #13
    • October 25, 2017, at 4:34 PM PDT
    • 6 likes
  14. Quinnie Member

    And the supposed $145 million given by the Russians to the Clinton Global Initiative due to this deal, is that true? Please explain.

    • #14
    • October 25, 2017, at 4:37 PM PDT
    • 16 likes
  15. Sash Member

    Okay, I’ve heard that some of the Uranium is actually not accounted for, regardless of the law, it was sent out o f the country and is missing. And that rather than a small amount of money it was millions. Maybe the people talking didn’t know, or maybe Trump is right. He is often right, however clumsily he says it, he turns out right. It could be that he knows more than you do.

    Plus, the attorney for the FBI informant said that Russia believed the money they paid to the Clinton Foundation, many millions, and to Clinton himself was a bribe. If they were not being bribed for the Uranium what were they paying bribes for?

    • #15
    • October 25, 2017, at 4:37 PM PDT
    • 18 likes
  16. Rodin Member

    There are many aspects of the story that the OP does not address, so I am not prepared to be so cavalier about its significance.

    • #16
    • October 25, 2017, at 4:39 PM PDT
    • 8 likes
  17. DrewInWisconsin, Ham-Fisted Bu… Coolidge

    Someone was asking for a definition of “bensmithing” earlier? This post is a great example.

    • #17
    • October 25, 2017, at 4:45 PM PDT
    • 17 likes
  18. Columbo Member

    What support do you have that Donald Trump conjured this “nonstory” out of whole cloth?

    The Hill, Vox, NY Post, Drudge, Daily Caller, NY Times, Senator Grassley, the WSJ, FoxNews … among many others … are running with this story. Yet you suggest it is nothing and that they are all just doing the bidding of President Trump?!

    What you suggest requires the willing suspension of disbelief.

    • #18
    • October 25, 2017, at 4:51 PM PDT
    • 22 likes
  19. Fred Cole Member
    Fred Cole

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):
    You know what, never mind.

    I’ll be happy to hear a response from the OP on #5.

    You’ve posted four comments and yet to make a substantive criticism about anything in the piece. I’m not sure what you expect me to respond to.

    • #19
    • October 25, 2017, at 5:02 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  20. Fred Cole Member
    Fred Cole

    DrewInWisconsin (View Comment):
    Someone was asking for a definition of “bensmithing” earlier? This post is a great example.

    I’m not sure what this comment means or how it contributes to the conversation. But you’re welcome to try to explain it.

    • #20
    • October 25, 2017, at 5:03 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  21. Profile Photo Member

    The Trump/Russia stuff, is that also a non-story, or is that legitimate?

    • #21
    • October 25, 2017, at 5:04 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  22. Fred Cole Member
    Fred Cole

    Columbo (View Comment):
    What support do you have that Donald Trump conjured this “nonstory” out of whole cloth?

    I never claimed that.

    What I will say is that Trump has a tendency to take part of a story, sometimes from dubious sourcing, and repeat it with little concern for the truth, when he needs to distract people.

    • #22
    • October 25, 2017, at 5:08 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  23. Fred Cole Member
    Fred Cole

    Rodin (View Comment):
    There are many aspects of the story that the OP does not address, so I am not prepared to be so cavalier about its significance.

    Well, you’re welcome to be more specific and we can explore them. (And if you include links, that would be helpful.)

    • #23
    • October 25, 2017, at 5:09 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  24. DocJay Inactive

    I’ll bet you a massive mea culpa post that by year’s end this is very much an issue.

    No issue or very mild I have to write a mea culpa.

    Serious issue and you have to write one.

    We have to claim our biases clouded our judgement and were in error.

    Deal?

    • #24
    • October 25, 2017, at 5:10 PM PDT
    • 15 likes
  25. Fred Cole Member
    Fred Cole

    Sash (View Comment):
    Okay, I’ve heard that some of the Uranium is actually not accounted for, regardless of the law, it was sent out o f the country and is missing. And that rather than a small amount of money it was millions. Maybe the people talking didn’t know, or maybe Trump is right. He is often right,

    This is interesting. Please link to something so we can all read about it and discuss it further.

    • #25
    • October 25, 2017, at 5:11 PM PDT
    • Like
  26. Fred Cole Member
    Fred Cole

    Bob Thompson (View Comment):
    I think there is also a non-disclosure agreement initiated by the DoJ and signed an informant who was providing information regarding the bribery. Do you know anything about that and why such would be necessary?

    Quinnie (View Comment):
    And the supposed $145 million given by the Russians to the Clinton Global Initiative due to this deal, is that true? Please explain.

    I lumped these two together. Give us some links please. I’d love to pick through these.

    • #26
    • October 25, 2017, at 5:13 PM PDT
    • Like
  27. Larry Koler Inactive

    Fred Cole (View Comment):

    Columbo (View Comment):
    What support do you have that Donald Trump conjured this “nonstory” out of whole cloth?

    I never claimed that.

    What I will say is that Trump has a tendency to take part of a story, sometimes from dubious sourcing, and repeat it with little concern for the truth, when he needs to distract people.

    That sounds familiar somehow. Huh? Now who else does that?

    • #27
    • October 25, 2017, at 5:14 PM PDT
    • 6 likes
  28. Fred Cole Member
    Fred Cole

    Hercules Rockefeller (View Comment):
    From the article that appeared in The Hill:

    “In evidentiary affidavits signed in 2014and 2015, an Energy Department agent assigned to assist the FBI in the case testified that Mikerin supervised a “racketeering scheme” that involved extortion, bribery, money laundering and kickbacks that were both directed by and provided benefit to more senior officials back in Russia.”

    That doesn’t seem like a non-story that only benefited people in the US.

    Right, that’s why I said this in the fourth paragraph:

    Fred Cole: Now, there was a Russian bribery story involving uranium, but you have to go beyond the headlines to find the details. It involved a Russian named Vadim Mikerin. But the bribes weren’t paid by Russians to Americans, it was the other way around. Kickbacks were paid by an American trucking company to Russians get no-bid contracts to ship uranium. And the “scandal” is that the FBI allegedly kept this secret while the Uranium One deal was being approved.

    I skimmed the affidavits linked to in your comments and that is what they describe.

    • #28
    • October 25, 2017, at 5:18 PM PDT
    • Like
  29. Fred Cole Member
    Fred Cole

    Larry Koler (View Comment):
    That sounds familiar somehow. Huh? Now who else does that?

    Lots of politicians do that. Trump more frequently, more cynically, and more brazenly than others.

    • #29
    • October 25, 2017, at 5:19 PM PDT
    • Like
  30. Fred Cole Member
    Fred Cole

    DocJay (View Comment):
    I’ll bet you a massive mea culpa post that by year’s end this is very much an issue.

    What part? That Hillary Clinton took bribes to sell America’s uranium to the Russians? Because that most certainly did not happen.

    • #30
    • October 25, 2017, at 5:21 PM PDT
    • Like

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