Two recycled stories are making Fox News extra rabid this week.
John Solomon, chief operating officer of Circa News, an online site owned by Sinclair Broadcasting (known as Trump News in the broadcast industry) ‘broke’ a story at The Hill claiming, “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.”
This revived a story from the now-discredited Clinton Cash book by Breitbart News senior editor-at-large Peter Schweizer blaming Hillary Clinton for playing a “central role” in approving the purchase of Uranium One by the Russian State Atomic Nuclear Agency. Though the author could find no evidence, that didn’t stop righties from suggesting the Clinton Foundation was at the receiving end of a quid pro quo.
Many of the hair-on-fire claims associated with the original Uranium Story have little basis in fact, but that won’t stop Sean Hannity, Rep. Devin Nunes, and President Trump from flogging the latest ‘revelations.’
From Media Matters:
Hannity heavily promoted Solomon’s story on his Fox show, devoting extensive segments to the “explosive” “bombshell” on the night it broke and the next two nights. He’s hosted Solomon, Carter, and Schweizer, harangued the rest of the press for not covering the story, and declared Uranium One “one of the biggest scandals this country has ever seen.” And on the night the story broke, he made clear what he thought should happen next:
HANNITY: Also, is Congress now going to do its job? Will they investigate these explosive reports immediately? Will the Special Counsel Robert Mueller start looking into this Russian plot to control American uranium?
Over the next few days, Trump’s allies on Fox and elsewhere worked themselves into a frenzy over the “real collusion” story (per Alex Jones, the “Beginning Of The End For Clinton Crime Family”). On the morning of October 19, apparently spurred on by a Fox & Friends segment on Solomon’s story, Trump himself joined the fray, tweeting, “Uranium deal to Russia, with Clinton help and Obama Administration knowledge, is the biggest story that Fake Media doesn’t want to follow!”
(And, oh, by the way, Hillary Clinton is now a private citizen.)
Story number two is a class one nothingburger–the Democrats paid for some opposition research. Okay, okay, now we know the name of the person who paid Fusion GPS/Christopher Steele for “legal services.”
To hear some of the chattering class at Fox go on about this, you’d never know that virtually every campaign –all the way down to school board races– engages in these practices.
And the fact the Steele dossier was paid for by both Republicans (originally) and then Democrats is old news. Mother Jones (October, 2016) and Vanity Fair (April), along with other outlets, wrote stories to that effect.
Here’s Mother Jones’ David Corn on why Trumpsters are trying to make a big deal out of this now:
Republicans and conservatives looking to protect the president from the Russia scandal keep trying to build up distractions. The Steele memos have been a main target. Republicans appear to believe that if they can cast the Steele memos as no more than a spurious product of partisan oppo research—essentially, a dirty trick—they can persuade people that the whole Trump-Russia affair is the hoax the president claims it is. Some Trump backers even contend that the FBI investigation is a sham because it was predicated on the Steele material…
…Ultimately, the Steele dossier is not the most important matter at hand. And certainly the uranium deal and unmasking are not. None of these have anything to do with the integrity of the American election process—or with protecting US democracy from future attacks from Russia or elsewhere. Still, many Republicans—Trump, most of all—would rather have congressional committees (and the public) chase after these rabbits rather than confront the bear in the room. And there’s just one word for that: sad.
Maybe this is what the Trumpsters are worried about….
— Holly O’Reilly (@AynRandPaulRyan) October 26, 2017
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