PolitiFact Fails to Whitewash Hillary Clinton Uranium Scandal
Purported fact-checking outlet PolitiFact has run another Uranium One-Rosatom-Clinton State Department story first reported by The New York Times (NYT) and based on research from the NYT bestseller Clinton Cash. The article flat-out ignores several key facts and conflicts of interest, potentially damaging to the Democratic presidential nominee.
The most recent Uranium One fact-check article was researched by Tom Kertscher and edited by Greg Borowski. In July, PolitiFact staff writer Linda Qiu published a piece full of factual errors, glaring inaccuracies, and omissions.
Breitbart News published a full-scale 13-point refutation of the last Politifact Uranium One piece, which the latest one references.
Kertscher’s piece, however, is more of the same sloppy script.
Several of the 13 refutation points still apply to this latest “fact-check” article, but below are two additional points that deserve attention:
1. It’s true that the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) has nine agencies that approved the sale of American uranium reserves. However, only one of those agencies, the Hillary Clinton-led State Department, employed a person whose family foundation collected $145 million from investors in the deal — an alarming conflict of interest.
2. PolitiFact says, “Given that Russia doesn’t have the licenses to export uranium outside the United States, it was likely more interested in Uranium One’s assets in Kazakhstan, the world’s largest uranium producer, our colleagues said.”
However, according to The New York Times, that is patently false.
As The New York Times reports, “The commission confirmed that Uranium One has, in fact, shipped yellow cake to Canada even though it does not have an export license.”
The Times report continues:
Mr. Christensen, 65, noted that despite assurances by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission that uranium could not leave the country without Uranium One or ARMZ obtaining an export license — which they do not have — yellowcake from his property was routinely packed into drums and trucked off to a processing plant in Canada.
Asked about that, the commission confirmed that Uranium One has, in fact, shipped yellowcake to Canada even though it does not have an export license. Instead, the transport company doing the shipping, RSB Logistic Services, has the license. A commission spokesman said that “to the best of our knowledge” most of the uranium sent to Canada for processing was returned for use in the United States. A Uranium One spokeswoman, Donna Wichers, said 25 percent had gone to Western Europe and Japan. At the moment, with the uranium market in a downturn, nothing is being shipped from the Wyoming mines.
The “no export” assurance given at the time of the Rosatom deal is not the only one that turned out to be less than it seemed. Despite pledges to the contrary, Uranium One was delisted from the Toronto Stock Exchange and taken private. As of 2013, Rosatom’s subsidiary, ARMZ, owned 100 percent of it.
Kazakhstan has 12% of the world’s uranium resources and an expanding mining sector, producing about 23,800 tonnes in 2015, and planning for further increase to 2018. In 2009 it became the world’s leading uranium producer, with almost 28% of world production, then 33% in 2010, rising to 41% in 2014, and 39% in 2015.
Kazatomprom, the nationalized nuclear energy company, was started in 1997. It has oversight of all nuclear activities including mining, exploration, and import/export activities. The company has also formed strong ties with foreign nuclear powers and the company Westinghouse. Agreements are in place with the governments of Russia, Japan, China, Canada, India, and France. Comparing 2010 with 2009, it reported an over forty percent increase in uranium production, and a thirty percent increase in total uranium output.