What we have here is one of the most valuable sorts of lies on the market: the sort of lie that is based in something that is true, then twisted into intense falsehood. These lies are really useful for propagandists because they know that most people who are inclined to believe the lie (that is to say, in this case, "already hate Hillary") aren't necessarily going to dig very deep, or even really even try to disprove a claim they want to believe.
You can easily find that 20% of the USA's uranium was sold recently, and that is factual enough to fully flesh this thing out. Hillary did it, she's the one who's really in bed with Putin, LOCK HER UP.
The truth of this uranium sale is a little more complicated than Alex Jones or the anti-Hillary crowd would have you believe.
Here is the basic truth that is inevitably twisted by right wing propaganda: In 2010, 20% of the uranium located within the United States became the property of Rosatom, Russia's nuclear agency. If that sounds scary, that makes sense, but when you realize what was actually happening, it becomes less so.
For one, the uranium was located inside the USA, but it was not owned by the US government, or even an American-owned company. As such, it was not the government's to buy and sell. It was the property of a company called Uranium One.
(Side note: Russia does not need "our" uranium. In terms of known deposits of uranium, Russia contains twice what the US does, according to the World Nuclear Association. We should be worried if they try to buy up Australia's uranium, which comprises almost 30% of the worlds known deposits. We probably don't have to worry about that because it looks like India is going to snatch up most of it to run their 20 very safe nuclear power plants.)
Secondly, Uranium One was a Canadian-based mining company. Their involvement in this deal was not that they sold actual uranium to Russians, but that Rosatom bought out 51% controlling interest in Uranium One. So technically, the Russian nuclear agency has a controlling interest in a Canadian mining operation that owns 20% of the uranium that has been found in our country.
Thirdly, and perhaps most importantly, Hillary Clinton did not set up this deal, and she could not have stopped it even if she had wanted to. That authority does not belong to the Secretary of State. The only reason she has anything to do with this at all is that she, as Secretary of State, was one of nine members of the Council on Foreign Investment in the United States (or CFIUS) who were tasked with reviewing the transaction due to the fact that it involved the transfer of a material deemed "relevant to national security."
The way the CFIUS works is that these nine people, the heads of the prominent cabinet departments, hear reports submitted to them regarding foreign interests purchasing things/companies in the US (and sometimes even not in the US). They research and deliberate, only weighing national security considerations, and then brief the president, who can choose to let the transaction proceed or, if there's an issue, halt it. In 2016, Barack Obama did just that, stopping a Chinese company from buying a Dutch company that produced microchips, out of a concern that they were doing so for nefarious reasons.
So, at this point, its pretty clear that 1) Hillary Clinton did not personally have anything to do with any sale of uranium, 2) the uranium wasn't "ours" to begin with, and 3) this isn't even about the sale of uranium, it's about a merger.
There are other lies regarding the alleged payout of $141 million that was made to the Clinton Foundation to facilitate this deal, and the reality is that timing just does not match up for this quid-pro-quo idea to make sense. $131.3 million of the donations did come from a founder of Uranium One, but he had sold off all his stake in the company three years prior to the merger.
We would go further into depth about this supposed money trail, but it feels kind of superfluous. The following is an argument for why this is not a bribery opportunity that anyone would act on:
- Hillary Clinton personally could not have had any impact on whether or not the purchase of controlling interest in Uranium One was approved or not by the CFIUS.
- If someone has no personal impact on a decision, it is incredibly unlikely (and just bad business) that someone would bribe them regarding that decision.
- Therefore, it is incredibly unlikely (and would just be bad business) that someone would bribe Hillary Clinton about the purchase of controlling interest in Uranium One.
If, in spite of this, you still want to posit that a company would pay $141 million to the Clinton Foundation for a bribe that Hillary clearly could not have delivered on, I suppose you can make that claim. I just don't think that anyone in business would be that dumb and nonstrategic.
In closing, it is worth noting that the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, an agency completely independent from Hillary Clinton, approved the deal as well.