The White House has accused former US presidential candidate Hillary Clinton of “collusion” with Russia, in a bid to fend off new questions in the ongoing investigation into President Donald Trump’s alleged ties to Moscow.
Deputy White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said during her off-camera press briefing on Wednesday that instead of Trump and his associates, the investigators should focus on the Democratic National Convention (DNC) and the Clinton family’s ties with foreign governments.
“If we’re looking at Russia relationships with anybody, it would be directly with the Clintons,” the spokeswoman said, noting that Clinton had sold “a third of the world’s uranium” to Russia.
She was referring to a uranium deal between Russia and Canadian mining company Uranium One, which had “control of one-fifth of all uranium production capacity in the United States
,” according to a 2016 report by The New York Times
Because of uranium’s strategic nature, the deal had to be signed off by several federal government committees, including the State Department, which was then run by Hillary Clinton.
According to the Times, during Russia’s gradual takeover of the mines between 2009 and 2013, Canadian records showed that Uranium One chairman’s family foundation donated a total of $2.35 million to the Clinton Foundation.
Shortly after the deal, Hillary’s husband, former US President Bill Clinton, gave a speech in Russia for a hefty $500,000 paid by a Russian investment bank that promoted Uranium One stock at the time, the daily noted.
Deputy White House spokesperson Sarah Huckabee Sanders briefs the press at the White House in Washington, DC, on July 12, 2017. (Photo by AFP)
Sanders raised yet another question by pointing to the Clinton campaign’s work with Ukraine in order to get damaging info on Trump.
“If there’s been any evidence of collusion in 2016 actually happening, it would have been between the DNC and the Ukrainian government,” Sanders said, referring to a Politico report published in January.
The report pointed to meetings between Clinton’s associates and Ukrainian officials who provided research and damaging info on Trump and advised Clinton’s staff to question Trump’s fitness for office.
The new accusations against Clinton came shortly after Trump boldly said in an interview that Russian President Vladimir Putin would have preferred Clinton in office instead of him.
The investigation into Trump’s alleged “collusion” with Russia took a new spin this week after the Times revealed a meeting between Trump’s eldest son and a Russian lawyer, who said she could prove Clinton was connected to the Kremlin.