Hillary Clinton Uranium One Conspiracy Theory

Hillary Clinton Uranium One Conspiracy Theory

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Updated Nov 02, 2017 at 11:47AM EDT by Don.

Added Nov 01, 2017 at 04:45PM EDT by Matt.

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Hillary Clinton Uranium One Conspiracy Theory refers to the unsubstantiated conspiracy theory that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton approved a deal that transferred control of 20% of the United States' uranium to a Russian company in exchange a $145 million in donations to the Clinton Foundation.


On May 5th, 2015, the book Clinton Cash: The Untold Story of How and Why Foreign Governments and Businesses Helped Make Bill and Hillary Rich by Breitbart editor-at-large Peter Schweizer ws released. The book includes a chapter that alleges that the Clinton family and Russia may have engaged in a "pay-for-play" scheme while Hillary was secretary of state. The deal, according the book, saw the transfer of 20% of the U.S.'s uranium reserves to a Russian company in exchange for $145 million in donations to the Clinton foundation.[1]


The supposed deal refers to a mining company called Uranium One, a South African compnay that merged with Canada's UrAsia Energy in 2007. In 2010, Russia's nuclear agency bought a controlling 51% stake in the company, and thus, about 20% of U.S. of U.S. uranium production capacity made up through "mines, mills, and tracts of land in Wyoming, Utah and other U.S. states."[2] Additionally, the uranium, because it can not be exported, remained in the U.S. under control of subsidiaries of Uranium One.

Because uranium affects national security, it is considered a strategic asset, so the sale had to be approved by nine U.S. agencies, including the state department, which Hillary Clinton worked for at at the time. However, Clinton did not have power to veto or single-handedly approve.

No evidence has been found in regards to the allegations of "pay for play." While Schweitzer's book alleges that nine Uranium One investors donated to the Clinton Foundation, Snopes found this to also be false. The timing does not match, according to the non-partisan fact checker. They wrote:

"Of the $145 million allegedly contributed to the Clinton Foundation by Uranium One investors, the lion’s share -- $131.3 million -- came from a single donor, Frank Giustra, the company’s Canadian founder. But Giustra sold off his entire stake in the company in 2007, three years before the Russia deal and at least 18 months before Clinton became secretary of state."


On June 22nd, 2016, Donald Trump, then running for the Republican nomination, referenced the theory in a campaign speech in New York City.[4] He said:

"Hillary Clinton’s State Department approved the transfer of 20% of America’s uranium holdings to Russia, while nine investors in the deal funneled $145 million to the Clinton Foundation."

A September 2016 political ad for the Trump campaign would repeat the allegation.

On September 30th, 2016, fact checking site rated this theory Mostly False, in regards to Clinton being secretary of state at the time of the deal. They wrote:

"Trump says Clinton 'gave up 20 percent of America's uranium supply to Russia.'

"The reference is to Russia’s nuclear power agency buying a controlling interest in a Toronto-based company. That company has mines, mills and tracts of land in Wyoming, Utah and other U.S. states equal to about 20 percent of U.S. uranium production capacity (not produced uranium).

"Clinton was secretary of state at the time, but she didn’t have the power to approve or reject the deal. The State Department was only one of nine federal agencies that signed off on the deal, and only Obama had the power to veto it.

"For a statement that contains only an element of truth, our rating is Mostly False."

During a White House Press Conference on February 16th, 2017, Trump again repeated these claims.

On October 26th, the fact-checking website Snopes rated this theory as "False."[1]

On October 17th, 2017, The Hill[3] reported that the FBI was investigating a Russian official who was overseeing the original deal while it was being approved. However, this information was not shared with U.S. officials. According to documents and eyewitness testimony, "Russian nuclear officials had routed millions of dollars to the U.S. 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 favorable decision to Moscow." According to Snopes, this does not prove Hillary Clinton participated in pay to play for approval.

One week later, on October 24th, the U.S. House intelligence and oversight committee announced an investigation into the purchase of Uranium One.

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