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Trump spreads more fake news on Hillary’s ‘uranium deal’

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         Trump spreads more fake news on Hillary’s ‘uranium deal’

President Trump, there’s a very good reason Congress isn’t investigating Hillary Clinton’s “big uranium deal” with Russia.

It’s because the story is absolute crap — as you well know.

• No, Hillary Clinton didn’t “sell America’s uranium.” She didn’t own it, or control it, and never had. This entire accusation is a farce.

In 2010 the stockholders of a Canadian mining company, Uranium One, accepted a bid from the Russian nuclear-energy agency, Rosatom, for a majority of their shares. They cashed out.

There is a very good reason no politician or organization tried to halt the uranium deal. It wasn’t controversial.

Uranium One was a worldwide producer. Among its assets were some U.S. uranium mines.

The decision was taken by pension-fund managers, other institutional investors and private investors from Canada, the U.S., Europe and elsewhere.

The deal had previously been approved by company management and independent directors on the board.

This is what’s known as “private property,” “commerce” and “capitalism.” Trump should read up on it.

The burden of proof for a U.S. government official to intervene in a Canadian stock-market transaction would have to be pretty high.

• No, Hillary didn’t “approve” the sale, either. She was just one of 14 — count ’em, 14 — people who sat on a U.S. government committee that might, in theory, have intervened but didn’t.

The others on the committee included the secretaries of the Treasury, homeland security, energy and defense; the White House budget director; the attorney general; and the chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers.

So, as far as we know, none of them said peep.

The committee could have intervened if it thought the deal threatened U.S. national security.

Others who could also have intervened in the deal, but saw no reason to, included the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission and regulators in Canada and elsewhere.

• There is a very good reason none of those people or organizations tried to halt the deal. It wasn’t controversial. And if it weren’t for Trump’s cynical demagoguery, it wouldn’t be now.

America is a bit player in worldwide uranium production, and the amount involved was about half a percent — yes, really — of global supply.

Furthermore, uranium has been a drag on the international markets for years. There’s too much of it around. Miners are giving it away for less than it costs to dig up. There was no reason to think of it as an especially precious resource.

In 2010, when Russia agreed to this deal, the price of uranium had already fallen by 75% in three years. And since then it’s halved again. (But uranium prices have perked up a bit since Trump’s election. Long-suffering investors are hoping he’ll approve more nuclear reactors and buy lots more warheads. It’s another reason Vladimir Putin has reason to be so pleased with his protégé.)

• Finally, it’s worth remembering that this entire “story” was whipped up like a meringue by Peter Schweizer, a far-right hack at Breitbart. And, like a meringue, it’s almost all air.

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