Uranium One Controversy

“Never seen such Republican ANGER & UNITY as I have concerning the lack of investigation on Clinton made Fake Dossier (now $12,000,000?) … the Uranium to Russia deal, the 33,000 plus deleted Emails, the Comey fix and so much more,”  President Trump’s tweet.

(a) Lies can not be turned into the truth by a million repetitions. 

When solid facts run up against a statement, the statement is a lie, unless the facts are disproved.    This has not happened in the above allegations by Donald Trump.  There’s been a lot written in recent months how easy it is today, to string together a few facts and with a lot of unrelated events, to show almost anything.

Perhaps the “so much more” in Trump’s tweet is all the other accusations he’s made during the Obama years, including how Obama was never born in the US, how the Trump tower was bugged by the FBI,  how China invented global warming and how the liberal media altered video to make the crowd size at Trump’s inauguration look smaller.   Of course, we need a special prosecutor to investigate all this!

So much more would include how Ivanka Trump shoes were thrown out of the Norstrom’s in February 2017.

My daughter Ivanka has been treated so unfairly by @Nordstrom. She is a great person — always pushing me to do the right thing! Terrible!

Norstrom shoe gate scandal!  We never knew what evil forces were involved, but likely included Democrats and the liberal media.   White House Spokesperson Sean Spicer  got involved  saying, “There are efforts to undermine her name…because people have a problem with his policies.”  Norstrom responded they pulled her shoes from the store because they just were not selling.   A more reasonable explanation, I would think!

On the subject of the Uranium One Controversy, Wikipedia states in their summary:

The New York Times, FactCheck.org, and The Washington Post note that there is no evidence of wrongdoing concerning Clinton. F.B.I. agents and career public corruption officials who conducted preliminary investigations into the Clinton Foundation concluded that there was no evidence to move forward with a case in 2015.

I particularly like the detailed investigation of snopes.com, which labeled the story as False.   See links at the end of this blog.

(b) There are adults in the room!

If there is a scandalous behavior, it is from Donald Trump,  directing his hand-picked FBI Director, Christopher Wray and Attorney General Jeff Sessions,  to investigate controversies regarding the Clintons.  What he’s saying, in effect, is Hillary Clinton was the one breaking the law, not me.  Also, he wants a criminal investigation of James Comey,  who for most of his career with the government was a registered as a republican.

If there has been criminal activity by Hillary Clinton or the Clinton Foundation in the past, it is certainly within the powers of the FBI and the Justice Department to investigate.   AG Jeff Sessions seems cognizant of his position and duties,  to limit the DOJ to impartial investigations of criminal misconduct.

AG Jeff Sessions indicated to a House committee he would make an inquiry, evaluation or assessment of the Uranium One deal and whether this matter needed to be pursued within the Justice Department or with a Special Counsel.  He chose his words carefully, as he did not call it a criminal investigation.

If Congressman Jim Jordan has his way,  the Special Counsel would have an extraordinary broad scope of investigation,  which would include the Clinton Foundations dealings, Hillary Clinton’s use of a outside server including the subsequent FBI investigation,  the creation of the Trump dossier and the involvement of Fusion GPS and of course,  Uranium one controversy.  Jim Jordan actually just stated this on Fox News this morning (11/15/2017).

(c)  Uranium One sound bite and the truth

Just for the record, here’s the Republican sound bite: “In June 2010,   Hillary Clinton allowed the Russians to buy 20% of the US uranium production capacity in return for $500,000 kickback in the form of speaking fees for Bill Clinton from the Russians. In addition, the CEO of Uranium One donated  hundreds of million dollars to the Clinton Foundation.”  You can turn on Fox News almost at anytime and hear either Lou Dobbs or Sean Hannity repeating the same line.  Actually, I just heard this on a Fox News show featuring Lisa Kennedy Montgomery or “Kennedy” show about hundreds of millions of dollars going into the Clinton Foundation as a result of the Uranium One deal.   This  is all sound bites, aimed to please their audience.

At the end of this blog,  I have included several excellent summaries of the accusations and the facts which shows Hillary Clinton did nothing wrong.

Let me summarize a couple of facts, that really stand out for me.  It is best to begin with the words “to buy.”  If I buy a car,  I get the keys and drive it off the lot, and I can bring this car to any place in the world, given the proper permits.   Not true with US uranium resources.  Russia has no export permit.   Whatever uranium is produce stays in the US.  Some minor exceptions have been discovered, as noted in the links given below.

Hillary Clinton ultimately was not the one to approve or reject the deal.  This would be up to the president.   However, the State Department is one of 9 federal agencies on the Committee on Foreign Investments in the US (CFIUS)  to review transactions.   Factcheck.com  which labels Trump’s accusation as FALSE,  states:

The committee can’t actually stop a sale from going through — it can only approve a sale. The president is the only one who can stop a sale, if the committee or any one member “recommends suspension or prohibition of the transaction,” according to guidelines issued by the Treasury Department in December 2008 after the department adopted its final rule a month earlier.

For this and other reasons, we have written that Trump is wrong to claim that Clinton “gave away 20 percent of the uranium in the United States” to Russia. Clinton could have objected — as could the eight other voting members — but that objection alone wouldn’t have stopped the sale of the stake of Uranium One to Rosatom.

“Only the President has the authority to suspend or prohibit a covered transaction,” the federal guidelines say.

We don’t even know if Clinton was involved in the committee’s review and approval of the uranium deal. Jose Fernandez, a former assistant secretary of state, told the New York Times that he represented the department on the committee. “Mrs. Clinton never intervened with me on any C.F.I.U.S. matter,” he told the Times, referring to the committee by its acronym.

The CFIUS is a review board as stated on it’s website.

(d) The Payoff or Quid Pro Quo

The second part of this accusation, that Bill Clinton or the Clinton Foundation benefited financially from this approval,  has a real timing problem.   In a  kickback scheme,  a politician does a favor to someone, and then either simultaneous or soon after its done,  the person who benefited  pays off the politician for the favor.   It’s all backwards in this case.  Bill Clinton received a $500,000 speaking fee in June 2010 and the deal was reviewed by the CFIUS in October 2010.  He was not paid by Uranium One, but by Renaissance Capital, specializing in Russian investments.  Investment banks pay big speaker fees to have world leaders speak at their investment conferences.   Tony Blair, Prime Minister of Great Britain also spoke at the conference.

The contribution to the Clinton Foundation by individuals associated with Uranium One was 145 million, and so this would seem at first  to be highly suspicious.  But, the lion’s share of this contribution,  131.5 million was from the CEO of Uranium One,  Frank Giustra, who sold all of his Uranium One stock in 2007,  three years before the deal.  Hillary Clinton wasn’t the Secretary of State at the time.   Only one individual contributed during the same timeframe as the deal was taking place, Ian Telfer, the company’s chairman.  According to snopes.com:

 His donations through the Fernwood Foundation included $1 million reported in 2009, the year his company appealed to the American Embassy to help it keep its mines in Kazakhstan; $250,000 in 2010, the year the Russians sought majority control; as well as $600,000 in 2011 and $500,000 in 2012. Mr. Telfer said that his donations had nothing to do with his business dealings, and that he had never discussed Uranium One with Mr. or Mrs. Clinton. He said he had given the money because he wanted to support Mr. Giustra’s charitable endeavors with Mr. Clinton. “Frank and I have been friends and business partners for almost 20 years,” he said.

(e) How much of Uranium One’s Production in the US is controlled by Russia?

The latest estimates are 5.9% of Uranium One’s production makes up the US supply of Uranium.   Russia could do little harm if they shut down the uranium mines owned by the US, as outside supplies are plentiful (Forbes.com)

(f) Concluding remarks

I’ve included a lot of online fact checking reviews in the links.  I did not go into the same level of detail as they did.

A report published by “The Hill” last month said the FBI was investigating possible Russian attempts to influence the U.S. nuclear sector at the time the CFIUS was considering the sale of Uranium One to Rosatom. The Justice Department receives FBI reports when there is sufficient evidence of wrongdoing  and it could have raised objections to the deal through the CFIUS in their review.  It would be up to the president to block the deal.

The accusation of approval of the Uranium One deal for any monetary gain is just as baseless as it was in 2015.  This new information has no effect on this conclusion.  See  Politifact.com link.

Hillary Clinton has recently stated the Trump administration and members of Congress (James Jordan in particular) are using this as a diversion from the Mueller investigation.  See link at the end.

My prediction is there will be no special counsel to investigate the Uranium One controversy.   AG Jeff Sessions may draw out his “assessment”  of a need for a criminal investigation for as long as he  wants.

As for the list of Trump’s tweet, I will end this blog with the very appropriate comment of Senator Bob Corker,  “The President has great difficulty with the truth on many issues.”

Stay tuned,

Dave

Links:

There are many other good links available.

Forbes article

Wikipedia: James Comey

Factcheck.org   The Facts on Uranium One

Snopes.com:  Hillary Clinton Gave 20 Percent of United States’ Uranium to Russia in Exchange for Clinton Foundation Donations?

Politifact.com: What you need to know about Hillary Clinton, Russia, and uranium

Wikipedia:  Uranium One

Hillary Clinton’s Interview with Mother Jones

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Trump’s Malicious Lies

He has attacked FBI Director Comey as a leaker of classified information, the acting Director as  Andrew McCabe as corrupt,  the head of the Justice Department, Jeff Sessions and Rob Rosenstein of using poor judgment in the appointment of Special Counsel Robert Mueller.   His latest attacks have been against Robert Mueller,  accusing him of a unwarranted  investigation of the Russian meddling in the 2016 and ignoring the crimes of Hillary Clinton in dealing with the Russians.

Although the harshest attacks come from Trump himself on the actions of the Justice Department,  in other areas, Trump is touting the accomplishments of the Justice Department, particularly the war on drugs, and crack down on human trafficking and illegal immigration, without any mention of Jeff Sessions.

The head of the Justice Department and FBI can be fired at a moments notice without cause.  Director Jim Comey learned he had been fired from CNN news broadcast.  Andrew McCabe is no longer in the direct line of fire.   The new FBI Director, Christopher Wray began his job yesterday.   If he feels that Hillary Clinton broke the law during 2016, he is free to investigate this activity.  Investigations can be closed, then re-opened.

I did not include attacks on the Washington Post and the New York Times from their reporting.  I previously posted my reasons why the New York Times reporting should be trusted, and that the newspaper is thriving, not failing.

The most serious accusations are against Robert Mueller, because Trump will use this as a pretext to remove him.  Jeff Sessions is far from being weak. Here’s the headline from the front page of the New York Times, “Under Attack, Justice Dept. Pushes Ahead, Quietly Carrying Out Trump’s Agenda.”  It goes on how Jeff Sessions is at work by 6:15 am, and starts his day on a treadmill, and a bowl of instant oatmeal in the microwave.  He hand-washes the bowl.

So, what were the malicious lie told by Trump?  It is the uranium story.  All fact checkers I know (Snopes.com, Politifact.com and factcheck.org find the essential details in  Trump’s narrative are false.    Here it is (snopes.com):

Allegations of a “quid pro quo” deal giving Russia ownership of one-fifth of U.S. uranium deposits in exchange for $145 million in donations to the Clinton Foundation are unsubstantiated.

No US uranium can be exported to Russia, not before the deal and not afterwards.  Russia may have an interest in US uranium mines, but Russia doesn’t get any uranium from the US.   The “quid pro quo” is simply a polite way of saying that Russia bought Hillary’s support, by slipping 145 million to the Clinton Foundation.    The whole story falls apart because the bulk of the  contributions were made in 2007, long before the buyout of Uranium One.

The whole uranium story should have fallen apart long ago because the timeline is all wrong.  The Snopes article states:

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 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.

Nobody is above the law.  Hillary Clinton, her staff and the Clinton Foundation must play by the rules.   I particularly like the way Snopes concluded the piece:

An enormous volume of interest and speculation surrounds the workings of the Clinton Foundation, which is to be expected. Given the enormous sums of money it controls and the fact that it is run by a former U.S. president who is married to a possible future U.S. president, the foundation deserves all the scrutiny it gets, and more.

At the same time, for the sake of accuracy it’s crucial to differentiate between partisan accusations and what we actually know about it — however little that may be.

This was published in October 2016, as Trump was storming the country with “Crooked Hillary” narratives.  Now the attacks have turned to Robert Mueller, as enemy number one.   He is directed to investigate Russian interference into the 2016 election, so he really can’t extend his investigation to a contribution received in 2007 by  Guistra  to the Clinton Foundation as payoff for a decision after he no longer had a stake in the company.   Whole narrative is really flaky.

I was very glad that no pardon was given to Hillary Clinton nor anyone in the White House or Clinton’s foundation before Obama’s departure.

Trump is trashing everyone who isn’t in the White House.  At least, isn’t currently in the White House. The heat is definitely on as Robert Mueller has convened a grand jury to examine criminal activities associated with Russian interference in the 2016 elections.

The latest Quinnipiac Polls show that most Americans do not trust Trump.  I wonder why?

Stay tuned,

Dave

Links:

Fact check:  West Virginia Rally  (much more fiction than fact

Snopes.com  Russian to Judgment

(note the Brietbart connection, with Clinton Cash book in 2015)

West Virginia Rally- Trump: Politifact.com West Virginia Rally

The special counsel “should be looking at the … uranium (Hillary Clinton) sold that’s now in the hands of very angry Russians.”

Politifact on Uranium story

New York Times, 2015 article on the buyout transaction. 

 

 

 

US and Russia

Putin wanted Trump over Clinton.  It should have been Clinton’s greatest non-endorsement.  Putin feels the breakup of the Soviet Union was a mistake, and some of the  Baltic states should be part of Russia.  Putin has expansionary ambitions.

Sanctioning Russia for the hacking efforts was a tough call for Obama.   It was an executive order, but this time Republicans did not fight him.   Trump has the authority to reverse these orders- and I think he will.    Trump’s response was weird at best, praising Putin for not responding in kind, with expulsion of US diplomats.

Trump is very used to project management.  In fact, he is a master at it.  His team will come up with a 100 day plan, mainly dealing with domestic issues, including the repatriation of overseas funds.   He has repeated attacked the NATO alliance and the UN.  Now, he will need these organizations more than ever,  and a lot of diplomacy to curb the ambitious Putin.

With the transition underway, and resistance from Democrats on every level,  I believe this will be the opportune time for Putin to make his move.  I’m not certain where, but the western side of the Ukraine or one of the Baltic states would be obvious targets.

The Trump test is coming.  I wish he makes the right decisions as what happens in Europe affects everyone.  Lesson to Trump – globalization is not a choice, it is a reality.

Stay tuned,

Dave

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Election Predictions

The best way to figure who will win, is to keep a close eye on state-wide polls of the swing states.  Since the beginning of this current madness,  there have been hundreds of polls, most of which at this point,  only confirm what we already know.    New York votes Democrat. Similarly,  Texas votes Republican.   These are the solid blue and red states.

National polls show the candidates to be close.  Trump is likely to win more states than Hillary.  But,  winning the most states doesn’t win the election.

The only way any candidate can win an election, is to win some of the swing states.  Hillary Clinton is in Florida right now.   Donald Trump, of course, is getting ready to make a grand entrance in Cleveland, OH.   These are the two really key swing states.   The other really big one is North Carolina.

So,  while a ton of predictions are being churned out,   few understand the prediction process.  Each state is assigned a probability that the Republican or Democrat will win in November.  Texas, for example has a 99% chance of going to Trump.   The reason for this is simple.  All the polls show Trump beating either Sanders or Clinton.  Similarly, Trump has nearly no chance to win New York. This leaves about 10 to 13 swing states, with probabilities much closer to toss up status (50%).   North Carolina is closer to a solid “anyone’s guess” or 50% than any other state.

Overall, using  probabilities by state, Clinton has a 70-75% chance of winning.  It is noted that the effect of third party candidates has not been taken into account in most polls.

These predictions are remarkably close to the odds given by the bookies from across the pond.

New York Times – Who will be the next president?

The predictions change as poll numbers change.    Each candidate will focus on states where they are lagging.  If more states move closer to the 50% probability value, the net result may be a decrease in election predictability.

Stay tuned,

Dave

 

 

Stage III finally

We are finally here.  Thank God.  It’s Hillary v. Donald, with a few loose ends, like Bernie’s final capitulation.   It’s off to the pageants- oh I mean conventions,  then each candidate  vying for the seven toss up states.

It is  nasty- with hot headed Donald, and the corrupt Hillary, exchanging barbs every day.

Florida will decide the election.   South Florida are solid Democrat, and more rural areas are Republicans.

Stay tuned,

Dave

Trump’s VP Nomination

Oops- Prior post referred to Governor Erst, she is a senator from Iowa- see comment.

I predicted it would be Senator Joni Ernst.   This was based on what Trump needs.   He needs a black, Hispanic, Asian woman,  taking care of  adopted children who has been a senator or a governor.  And who will deliver all 7 to 10 swing states.  And has no baggage and likely is charismatic.  Conservative credentials are good, but not too extreme.   Trump needs the independent vote.

Chris Christie comes with way too much baggage.  Bridgegate revealed that Christie can be very pushy at times- not a quality Trump would wants.   Governor Susanna Martinez of New Mexico, scores high, but doesn’t want the job.  Marco Rubio has great appeal, but Trump beat him in Florida and called him all sorts of names.   He’s out.     Newt Gingrich is the ultimate in what Trump says he’s looking for- someone that knows congress and can get legislation passed.  But he’s 72 years old, and comes with baggage.  Sorry Newt.  Trump may pick a governor instead of some from congress, because they come with less baggage. So, it could go to Governor Martinez.

Senator Erst

Gov Martinez would have been a close second.  I personally thought Kelly Ayotte  would score high, being she is in a swing state (minor point, NH has only 4 electoral votes) and a strong counter to “over the hill” Hillary.

Stay tuned,

Dave

PS:  5/7/16 Senator Ayotte said she would support the Republican nominee, but would  not endorse Trump.   That’s it- off  the Donald’s short list, for sure.

 

Just so you know

Man, I nailed it on May 4, 2016.  All but Joni Ernst- who is a senator not a governor.  I wrote “will pick”, when I meant “should pick.”    All the rest stays in place.  I am seldom wrong, and all mistakes are typos.   Further,  my convictions are made in America  iron clad.

——- Repost 5/4/2016 (Just so you know):

Here is what is going to happen:

  • Clinton will pick Senator  Tim Kaine as her VP candidate.
  • Trump will pick Gov.  Joni Ernst as his VP candidate.
  • Clinton will win the election.  It will be a close election.
  • Washington will be as dysfunctional as before- possibly worse.

Trump will push immigration/ security  and care for vets as his two central themes.   Thrown into the mix will be a hard line on drug use/ support for the police, and the fight against terrorism. Clinton will push her experience,  expanded education programs and helping the middle class.

Improving the economy will be a big one in Trump’s and Clinton’s campaign.  Trump will talk more about reducing government spending, since he can attack Hillary through Obama’s “reckless”  spending.

The conventions will be basically pageants-  3 days of non-stop promotion for each candidate.  Plus, well aimed zingers at the opposition candidate.  It will be well worth missing.  Or in my case, record and later delete.

Trump is the master of promotion- it is highly likely he will simultaneously appear in all 12 toss-up states, next to the governor of each state (if Republican), with all members of his family. just a few hours from the Republican pageant.   He will flood the news media, with lines such as, “You know what we just discovered about Hillary’s group of friends”,  and then go on to link her to conspiring with Ted Cruz’s father to kill JFK (just for example).

It will be old time Washington elite verses an outsider/ new blood.   Seems this worked for Barrack Obama and Jimmy Carter.

The wild card is the ongoing investigation in Clinton’s email. The FBI has not yet issued a final report.

The Republican states will predictably vote Trump and Democrat states will vote for Clinton.  All eyes will be on the 10-12 toss-up states of which, just like 2012.  Clinton needs to win some of the bigger toss-up states, like Florida and North Carolina  to win.

So, that’s it.  As the saying goes, I’m frequently wrong but never in doubt.

Stay tuned,

Dave