Okay, true, a Putin-associated bank did pay Bill Clinton $500,000, twice his normal fee, for a speech. And, yeah, Russians funneled $145 million to the Clinton foundation. And, yes, Hillary’s State Department and the Obama administration did approve the transfer of control of one-fifth of American uranium-mining capacity to Russia.
But so what? Nothing to see here: move along. That was the take of Jeffrey Toobin, CNN’s chief legal analyst, this morning. Toobin dismissed the scandal as a “non-story” and a “Fox News obsession.”
But it wasn’t Fox News that reported the $145 million in Russian money from sources tied to Uranium One flowing to the Clinton foundation: it was liberal Newsweek. And it wasn’t just Fox News saying that the Uranium One deal “compromised national-security interests.” It was, among others, Andrew McCarthy at National Review. McCarthy is the former assistant US attorney who led the prosecution of Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman and others involved in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing.
While dismissing the scandal as a “non-story,” Toobin tried to shift the focus to President Trump’s effort to permit an FBI whistleblower to testify about the facts behind the Hillary-Obama approval of the uranium deal.
ALISYN CAMEROTA: So President Trump had the gag order lifted on an FBI informant so he could testify in front of Congress about the Uranium One deal that was the Clinton-era, Obama-era deal to give this Russian nuclear agency the access and the ownership of this uranium company. So, this is not illegal, Jeffrey, as we’ve talked about, but unusual. Anything else we need to know about the president lifting this gag order?
JEFFREY TOOBIN: This has been a recent Fox News obsession. This uranium deal, which was investigated two years ago and nothing untoward was found. This is clearly an attempt by the president’s allies to distract attention away from the Russia investigation in terms of the Trump campaign. And, you know, the president can control the news media narrative by calling this Watergate. But that shouldn’t tell us that there is anything more to be investigated here than already was. I think this is basically a non-story except it you is being ginned up to distract from a real investigation where we don’t know the outcome.