Fox & Friends hyped the dubious claims of an FBI informant who said that Russian officials tried to give donations to the Clinton Foundation in exchange for approving the Uranium One nuclear deal, even though Department of Justice (DOJ) officials have reportedly said they considered the informant “too unreliable to use as a witness due to inconsistencies in his story.”
According to the informant’s testimony, Russians paid an American firm to influence then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (through donations to the Clinton Foundation) to approve the sale of the mining company Uranium One. The Fox & Friends hosts called it a “brand new bombshell” and reported the claims as credible. Sean Hannity did the same last night.
However, Justice Department officials, in a December briefing to House oversight committee staff, reportedly said that “the whistleblower had offered no evidence about Clinton” and that they “began to have ‘serious credibility concerns’ because of ‘inconsistencies’ between the individual’s statements and documents they obtained as part of the investigation.” Mother Jones reported that in a recent letter, Reps. Elijah Cummings (D-MD) and Adam Schiff (D-CA) further explained:
[Justice Department] officials said that “at no point did [the individual] provide any allegation of corruption, illegality, or impropriety on Clinton, the Clinton Foundation, President Clinton, the Uranium One deal, or CFIUS,” Cummings and Schiff wrote. “They also confirmed that there were ‘no allegations of impropriety or illegality’ regarding Secretary Clinton in any of the documents they reviewed.”
AINSLEY EARHARDT (CO-HOST): Brand new bombshell in the Uranium One scandal.
BRIAN KILMEADE (CO-HOST): Yeah, we’re getting a look at some explosive testimony from an FBI informant we've been waiting to hear from for quite some time. It all centers around Hillary Clinton.
STEVE DOOCY (CO-HOST): Griff Jenkins is live in Washington, D.C., breaking it all down. So, Griff, this guy talked to three committees, right?
GRIFF JENKINS: That's right. Good morning, guys. That informant's name, by the way, is Douglas Campbell, and in written testimony obtained by The Hill newspaper, he says Russian nuclear officials told him that Moscow hired an American lobbying firm named APCO Worldwide for $3 million in hopes of influencing then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton through contributions to the Clinton Foundation. Campbell writes in testimony, quote, "The contract called for four payments of $750,000 over 12 months. APCO was expected to give assistance free of charge to the Clinton Global Initiative as part of their effort to create a favorable environment to ensure the Obama administration made affirmative decisions on everything from Uranium One to the U.S.-Russia Civilian Nuclear Cooperation Agreement.” Campbell's attorney, Victoria Toensing, told Hannity this all began in 2005.
JENKINS: Now, APCO Worldwide is denying any involvement with Uranium One and says their work with the Clinton Foundation and Russia are not connected. A Clinton spokesperson says Campbell's testimony is merely a distraction from the Mueller investigation. And Democrats are calling for Campbell's testimony to be released. Look for a fight, guys, here coming on this as Democrats are casting real doubt on Campbell's testimony.
DOOCY: They are indeed. All right, Griff, thank you very much. Keep in mind, this guy came to the attention of everybody in Washington, ultimately, because he was suing the federal government for the bribe money. The FBI said, “Hey, yeah, just keep paying the money, and you'll get the money back.” Then a couple of years ago, he said, “I’d like the money now.” And they go, “You're not going to get the money. And if you go ahead and pursue this, we will destroy you,” said the Department of Justice.
EARHARDT: It's a little confusing. So, just to sum it up, this APCO is a lobbying firm for Uranium One? The Russians, they paid this firm, this American firm, to try to influence --
DOOCY: With the understanding that a portion of the money would go to the Clinton Foundation to influence Hillary Clinton.
KILMEADE: Right, and if the guy didn’t -- the guy thought he was going to die. He had cancer, and now thankfully he seems to be OK -- whoever he is, whenever we meet him.