Shep Smith just took apart the Uranium One conspiracy theory in what amounts to a methodical annihilation of his own network’s coverage of the story. pic.twitter.com/D439QyIBWU
— Matthew Gertz (@MattGertz) November 14, 2017
The Justice Department is considering whether to appoint a second special counsel to investigate several matters associated with Hillary Clinton, including the Uranium One deal that Donald Trump has been calling “the real Russia story.” The president may have absorbed the conspiracy from his favorite network, Fox News, which has (according to Media Matters) spent twelve hours obsessing about the topic over the past three weeks. Shep Smith has not joined in with the Sean Hannity-led celebration, but he finally broke his silence on the matter today. In doing so, Smith effectively dismantled the entire conspiracy with this less-than-30-second conclusion:
“[T]he accusation is predicated on the charge that Secretary Clinton approved the sale. 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.”
You can see a longer clip of this segment over at Media Matters, which also shows Trump claiming that Hillary’s State Department “approved the transfer of 20 percent of America’s uranium holdings to Russia.” And Trump leveled the accusation that the deal’s investors in turn pushed $145 million into the Clinton Foundation (which is also a subject that the DOJ is making noises about for a second special counsel).
As Shep also points out, those ranting about the Uranium One deal also maintain that Hillary approved the sale of the uranium as a quid pro quo. The allegations first surfaced in 2015’s Clinton Cash book that was written by Breitbart editor Peter Schweizer and produced by Steve Bannon. Yet as Shep explains, the entire conspiracy collapses (as further illustrated by Snopes) because Hillary never approved the uranium sale in the first place.
Watch the full segment below: