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Donald Trump promotes criticism of Hillary Clinton for role in Russian uranium deal while attacking ‘fake’ media

Mythili Sampathkumar
New York
,David Maclean
Thursday 19 October 2017 13:44 BST
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Donald Trump took to Twitter to claim Russia sent 'millions' of dollars to the Clinton Foundation, the charity run by former President Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton.
Donald Trump took to Twitter to claim Russia sent 'millions' of dollars to the Clinton Foundation, the charity run by former President Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton. (Matthew Horwood/Getty Images)

Donald Trump has called criticism over Hillary Clinton's role in a uranium deal with Russia "the biggest story that Fake Media doesn't want to follow".

As the controversy over the president's handling of grieving military families grows, he lashed out on Twitter on Thursday morning and attempted to push the news agenda towards a debunked theory about a uranium deal.

"Uranium deal to Russia, with Clinton help and Obama Administration knowledge, is the biggest story that Fake Media doesn't want to follow!" he wrote.

Trump asks if reporters 'know what uranium is' in press conference

A report this week claimed the Obama administration potentially knew of corruption at a Russian nuclear supplier years before it agreed to sign over 20 per cent of US's uranium supply to the company, and it was widely covered by the media.

The matter was investigated by the US Department of Justice for nearly four years beginning in 2010, headed by Rod Rosenstein who is now Mr Trump's Deputy Attorney General but had been appointed by Barack Obama at the time.

Employees at Tenex, a subsidiary of Rosatom – the regulatory body of the Russian nuclear complex – received bribes and kickbacks from American companies as early as 2009, according to The Hill.

The FBI found - using a witness working in the Russian nuclear industry to gather the financial record evidence - showed that Russian President Vladimir Putin's main man in the US, Vadim Mikerin, had been involved in corruption since 2009.

Mr Mikerin arrived in the US in 2010, on a work visa approved by the Obama administration, to open the US arm of Tenex, called Tenam.

Some have claimed that the approval of the deal was a quid pro quo exchange for Moscow donations to the Clinton Foundation, the charity run by the Clinton family that included the international development arm known as the Clinton Global Initiative.

Donald Trump denies 'ranting and raving', attacking media, Clinton, Democrats

However, then-Secretary of State Clinton did not have the power of veto or approval over the deal with the firm.

She was one of nine cabinet members and department heads collectively charged with advising the president on potential national security issues with such transactions on the Committee on Foreign Investment in the US.

Several sources told The Hill newspaper "they did not know whether the FBI or DOJ ever alerted committee members to the criminal activity they uncovered."

The timings of the donations don't match either; of the alleged $145m reportedly contributed to the foundation by investors, most came from a single donor who sold his stake three years before the Russia deal.

In December 2015, Mr Mikerin was sentenced to 48 months in prison and ordered to forfeit more than $2m.

However, the FBI is barely mentioned as a player in the court records and the newspaper said "the lack of fanfare" on the part of the FBI or DOJ touting their own accomplishment left many within the bureau and Congress "with no inkling that a major Russian nuclear corruption scheme with serious national security implications had been uncovered."

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