The Pronk Pops Show 1083, May 24, 2018, Story 1: President Trump New Brand — Sypgate Shorthand for Clinton Obama Democratic Criminal Conspiracy — What Did Clinton and Obama Know and when Did Clinton and Obama Know It? Clinton and Obama Activated “Spygate” or Secret Surveillance Spying Security State on Republican Party Trump Campaign for President — Read Ed Klein’s All Out War: The Plot to Destroy Trump, Guilty As Sin, and Blood Feud — Videos — Story 2: To Be or Not To Be — June 12, 2018 U.S./North Korea Summit Canceled For Now — To Be Continued — Maybe — Let’s Call The Whole Thing Off — Videos

Posted on May 25, 2018. Filed under: Addiction, Blogroll, Bribery, Cartoons, Central Intelligence Agency, Constitutional Law, Crime, Culture, Deep State, Donald J. Trump, Donald J. Trump, Donald Trump, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Federal Government, Government, High Crimes, Hillary Clinton, Human, Human Behavior, James Comey, Killing, Language, Life, Lying, Mike Pompeo, National Security Agency, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, Public Corruption, Robert S. Mueller III, Spying on American People, Surveillance/Spying, Treason, Trump Surveillance/Spying, Wealth, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

 Project_1

The Pronk Pops Show Podcasts

Pronk Pops Show 1083, May 24, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1082, May 23, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1081, May 22, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1080, May 21, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1079, May 17, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1078, May 16, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1077, May 15, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1076, May 14, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1075, May 10, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1073, May 8, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1072, May 7, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1071, May 4, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1070, May 3, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1069, May 2, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1068, April 26, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1067, April 25, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1066, April 24, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1065, April 23, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1064, April 19, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1063, April 18, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1062, April 17, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1061, April 16, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1060, April 12, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1059, April 11, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1058, April 10, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1057, April 9, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1056, April 4, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1055, April 2, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1054, March 29, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1053, March 28, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1052, March 27, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1051, March 26, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1050, March 23, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1049, March 22, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1048, March 21, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1047, March 20, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1046, March 19, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1045, March 8, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1044, March 7, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1043, March 6, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1042, March 1, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1041, February 28, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1040, February 27, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1039, February 26, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1038, February 23, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1037, February 22, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1036, February 21, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1035, February 16, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1034, February 15, 2018  

Pronk Pops Show 1033, February 14, 2018  

Pronk Pops Show 1032, February 13, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1031, February 12, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1030, February 9, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1028, February 7, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1027, February 2, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1026, February 1, 2018

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Story 1: President Trump New Brand — Sypgate Shorthand for Clinton Obama Democratic Criminal Conspiracy — What Did Clinton and Obama Know and when Did Clinton and Obama Know It? Clinton and Obama Activated “Spygate” or Secret Surveillance Spying Security State on Republican Party Trump Campaign for President — Read Ed Klein’s All Out War: The Plot to Destroy Trump, Guilty As Sin, and Blood Feud — Videos —

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‘Spygate’: Trump unveils new nickname for Russia probe

The Ingraham Angle – Wednesday May 23 2018

Tucker: Obama administration hacks were all lying

Did the Obama administration spy on the Trump campaign?

What we know about Trump’s ‘Spygate’ claims

Sean Hannity Blasts James Comey: ‘Did You Have a Spy in the Clinton Campaign?’

President Donald Trump Seizes On ‘Spygate’ To Discredit Russia Investigation | The 11th Hour | MSNBC

Ed Klein details the rift between Bill and Hillary Clinton

All Out War: The Plot to Destroy Trump | Ed Klein And Alex Jones

All Out War – The Plot To Destroy Donald Trump by Ed Klein Ch 1-6

Ed Klein Discusses His New Book “All Out War”, Antifa, and More

Malzberg | Edward “Ed” Klein: Obama was “aware of HRC’s private server” and “warned her” about it

Ed Klein: Why Comey jumped at chance to reopen Clinton case

Ed Klein discusses the Hillary Clinton email story

Hillary Clinton surrounded by scandals and investigations

Ed Klein on Hillary Emails controversy – Stuart Varney March 9, 2015

The Joe Pags Show | Ed Klein discusses Hillary’s reaction after losing

Ed Klein – What Happened To Hillary’s “What Happened”?

Hillary ‘won’t drink water’? ‘Red Eye’ investigates

Ed Klein: Not the first time Clinton has collapsed

Ex-Secret Service agent: Hillary must be kept out of the WH

Former Secret Service agent: Why video of Clinton scares me

Author says Hillary Clinton is ‘two different people’

Ed Klein: It seems Obama is having a tough time letting go

Ed Klein: Clintons and Obamas Are Like Two ‘Mafia Families’

Rush Limbaugh Doesn’t Trust Ed Klein

Ed Klein talks ‘Unlikeable: The Problem with Hillary’

Hillary Clinton Is ‘Fat And Old’ According To Author Ed Klein

Jeremiah Wright offered bribe of $150,000.00 by Obama campaign to keep silent

Sorry, But Obama White House, Not Dossier, Was Behind Trump Investigation

pyGate: Did the Obama administration spy on the Donald Trump campaign because it feared Russian hacking of the 2016 election? Or was it merely a smokescreen to cover up the real reason: to keep Trump from winning the presidency or take him down if he did?

As the saying goes, timing is everything. Recent revelations keep pushing back the beginning of the CIA and FBI investigation into “Russian hacking” or “meddling” in the 2016 election further and further in time.

This is significant, since the farther back in time the actual origin of the spying on Trump, the less likely it is that it had anything to do with Russian involvement in the 2016 elections, but everything to do with stopping the surprising surge of Trump during the GOP primaries and beyond.

Increasingly, a political motive seems not only likely, but almost certain.

In a recent piece that warrants a thorough reading, Andrew C. McCarthy, a former assistant U.S. attorney who now writes for the National Review, painstakingly dismantles the multiple lies told about how and when the spying on Trump began.

There is what he calls “The Original Origination Story” that involves little-known Trump adviser Carter Page. He visited Moscow in July 2016, three months after hooking on to the Trump campaign.

According to former MI6 British spy Christopher Steele’s now infamous dossier on Trump, Page’s trip was when the alleged Trump-Russia plan to hack the Democratic National Committee was born.

The only problem is, the Steele dossier has been exposed as a fanciful product of the Clinton campaign and the opposition research firm Fusion GPS, which hired Steele. And the main assertions were based on hearsay from Russian officials, and never validated.

Even so, the FBI and Justice Department used the dossier to apply to the FISA court to tap Page’s communications and, as a result, much of the rest of the Trump campaign.

In doing so, the FBI broke its own rules and, worse, the Obama Justice Department withheld the fact from the FISA court that the Clinton campaign and Democratic National Committee were responsible for the dossier.

Then there was what McCarthy calls “Origination Story 2.0.”

This involves George Papadopoulos, a young, also little-known Trump aide. At a May 2016 meeting in a London pub, he told Australian diplomat Alexander Downer about an academic named Josef Mifsud with Kremlin ties who told Papadopoulos that the Kremlin had a huge number of emails that could be damaging to Hillary Clinton.

Democrats point to this as proof that Trump had colluded to hack the DNC. But as McCarthy notes, there’s a major flaw in that logic: “If Russia already had the emails and was alerting the Trump campaign to that fact, the campaign could not have been involved in the hacking.”

Moreover, Democrats insist Mifsud’s comments about emails referred to the DNC emails that were, in fact, hacked by Russians.

But that’s not the case. Papadopoulos has said he thought Mifsud was talking about the more than 30,000 emails that Hillary Clinton “accidentally” had deleted from her illegal unsecured home email server.

So if those didn’t set up the FBI investigation into the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia, what did?

In fact, says McCarthy, the real origin of the investigation appears to have been in Spring of 2016, before Papadopoulos’ conversation with the Australian ambassador in May and also before Page’s visit to Moscow in July.

It started with James Comey briefing President Obama’s National Security Council about Carter Page, likely sometime in mid-Spring.

Why? Well, both Page and Paul Manafort, another Trump adviser, had business ties to Russia, which, perhaps justifiably, concerned the FBI.

But rather than telling the Trump campaign about their concerns, or even moving against the Russians, the Justice Department and the FBI starting treating Trump’s campaign like a criminal enterprise.

Instead of continuing to interview Page, or Manafort, or Papadopoulos, they inserted a spy, Stefan Halper, in the campaign, and tapped its phones. It had the earmarks of a political hit, not an actual investigation.

As for the CIA, another line of inquiry finds they also were busy early on pursuing Trump.

George Neumayr, writing in The American Spectator, notes that CIA Director John Brennan used the flimsy excuse of a tip from the Estonian intelligence agency that Putin was giving money to the Trump campaign to form an “inter-agency taskforce” on supposed Trump-Russia collusion in 2016. It met at CIA headquarters, spy central.

The Estonian tip didn’t pan out, but the task force remained.

“Both before and after the FBI’s official probe began in late July 2016,” wrote Neumayr, “Brennan was bringing together into the same room at CIA headquarters a cast of Trump haters across the Obama administration whose activities he could direct — from Peter Strzok, the FBI liaison to Brennan, to the doltish (Director of National Intelligence) Jim Clapper, Brennan’s errand boy, to an assortment of Brennan’s buddies at the Treasury Department, Justice Department, and White House.”

It eventually led, on July 31, 2016, to the creation FBI’s “Crossfire Hurricane” program to spy against the Trump campaign.

What we’re discovering is that the investigations and spying on the Trump campaign for evidence of possible collusion with Russia appear to have begun well before the CIA and FBI said they did.

And it all arose from progressive, pro-Hillary embeds deep within the Deep State and at the top of key Obama agencies, people who could use their positions of supposed Olympian objectivity to mask their political bias — and to ignore years of evidence that Hillary Clinton had colluded with the Russians for her own financial benefit.

As McCarthy concluded: “The Trump-Russia investigation did not originate with Page or Papadopoulos. It originated with the Obama administration.”

https://www.investors.com/politics/editorials/obama-behind-trump-investigation/

Byron York: When did Trump-Russia probe begin? Investigators focus on mystery months

Revelations that an FBI informant insinuated himself into the Trump campaign have led some congressional investigators to rethink their theories on how and why former President Barack Obama’s Justice Department began investigating the 2016 Trump presidential effort.

Most reporting has focused on the July 31, 2016, creation of a document formally marking the beginning of the FBI counterintelligence probe targeting the Trump campaign. The document, known as the electronic communication, or EC, is said to have focused on the case of George Papadopoulos, the peripheral Trump adviser who has pleaded guilty to lying to special counsel Robert Mueller about his contacts with people connected to Russia.

Most of the key events of the Trump-Russia investigation — the Carter Page wiretap, the wiretap of Michael Flynn’s conversations, the presentation of Trump dossier allegations to the president-elect — took place after the formal start of the FBI counterintelligence investigation.

But now comes word of the FBI informant, described in various accounts as a retired American professor living in England. The Washington Post reported that, “The professor’s interactions with Trump advisers began a few weeks before the opening of the investigation, when Page met the professor at the British symposium.”

A few weeks before the opening of the investigation — those are the words that have raised eyebrows among Hill investigators. If it was before the investigation, then what was an FBI informant doing gathering undercover information when there was not yet an investigation?

And that has taken them back to March 21, 2016, when candidate Donald Trump met with the editorial board of the Washington Post.

At the time of that meeting, Trump had been under criticism for not having the sort of lists of distinguished advisers that most top-level campaigns routinely assemble. That was particularly true in the area of foreign policy. A frustrated Trump ordered his team to compile a list of foreign-affairs advisers.

Trump was preparing to announce his advisory board when he met with the Post. The paper’s publisher asked Trump if he would reveal the names of his new team.

“Well, I hadn’t thought of doing it, but if you want I can give you some of the names,” Trump said. He then read a brief list, among them Page and Papadopoulos.

Trump’s announcement did not go unnoticed at the FBI and Justice Department. The bureau knew Page from a previous episode in which Russian agents had tried, unsuccessfully, to recruit him. It’s not clear what the FBI knew about the others. But then-Director James Comey and number-two Andrew McCabe personally briefed Attorney General Loretta Lynch on the list of newly-named Trump foreign policy advisers, including Page, according to U.S. officials familiar with the matter.

Lynch told the House Intelligence Committee that she, Comey, and McCabe discussed whether to provide a “defensive briefing” to the Trump campaign. That would entail having an FBI official meet with a senior campaign official “to alert them to the fact that … there may be efforts to compromise someone with their campaign,” Lynch said.

It didn’t happen, even though it was discussed again when Comey briefed the National Security Council principals committee about Page in the “late spring” of 2016, according to Lynch’s testimony. (The principals committee includes some of the highest-ranking officials in the government, including the secretaries of State, Treasury, Defense, and Homeland Security, the attorney general, the head of the CIA, the White House chief of staff, U.N. ambassador, and more.)

So the nation’s top political appointees, law enforcement, and intelligence agencies were watching Trump campaign figures in the spring and early summer of 2016.

In early July, Trump dossier author Christopher Steele, the former British spy, approached the FBI with the first installment of the dossier. (It was the part that alleged Trump took part in a kinky sex scene with prostitutes in a Moscow hotel in 2013.) Also in early July — just a few days later — Page made a much-watched trip to deliver a speech in Moscow. Also in July, FBI officials say they learned about Papadopoulos’ meeting a few months earlier with a Russian-connected professor. And still in July, hacked emails from the Democratic National Committee were released.

Somewhere around the time all that was happening, according to the latest reporting, the FBI informant began his work.

And that was all before what is called the formal beginning of the Trump-Russia investigation. It is in those mystery months — late March, April, May, June, and early July of 2016 — with the presidential campaign going at full force, that the Obama administration’s surveillance of the Republican candidate geared up.

https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/when-did-trump-russia-probe-begin-investigators-focus-on-mystery-months

The Real Origination Story of the Trump-Russia Investigation

Former President Barack Obama extends his hand to Russian President Vladimir Putin during their meeting at the United Nations General Assembly in New York, September 28, 2015. (Kevin Lamarque/Reuters)

The Trump-Russia investigation did not originate with Carter Page or George Papadopoulos. It originated with the Obama administration.Exactly when is the “late Spring”?

Of all the questions that have been asked about what we’ve called the “Origination Story” of the Trump-Russia investigation, that may be the most important one. It may be the one that tells us when the Obama administration first formed the Trump-Russia “collusion” narrative.

Obama’s spying on Trump campaign included the use of secret “national security letters” reserved for the most serious threats

See, it has always been suspicious that the anonymous current and former government officials who leak classified information to their media friends have been unable to coordinate their spin on the start of “Crossfire Hurricane” — the name the FBI eventually gave its Trump-Russia investigation.

The Original Origination Story: Carter Page

First, they told us it was an early July 2016 trip to Moscow by Carter Page, an obscure Trump-campaign adviser.

As we’ve observed, that story became untenable once a connection emerged between the Bureau’s concerns about Page and the Steele dossier. The dossier, compiled by former British spy Christopher Steele, portrayed Page’s Moscow trip as seminal to a Trump-Russia conspiracy to hack Democratic email accounts and steal the election from Hillary Clinton.

It turned out, however, that the dossier was a Clinton-campaign opposition-research project, the main allegations of which were based on third-hand hearsay from anonymous Russian sources. Worse, though the allegations could not be verified, the Obama Justice Department and the FBI used them to obtain surveillance warrants against Page, in violation of their own guidelines against presenting unverified information to the FISA court. Worse still, the Obama Justice Department withheld from the FISA court the facts that the Clinton campaign was behind the dossier and that Steele had been booted from the investigation for lying to the FBI.

Origination Story 2.0: George Papadopoulos

With the Page origination story cratering, Team Obama tried to save the day with Origination Story 2.0: Papadopoulos did it. In this account, George Papadopoulos, an even more obscure Trump-campaign aide than Page, triggered the investigation by telling Australian diplomat Alexander Downer, in May 2016, that he’d heard from a Kremlin-connected academic, Josef Mifsud, that Russia had thousands of emails potentially damaging to Clinton.

But this rickety tale had the signs of an after-the-fact rationalization, an effort to downplay the dossier and the role of Obama officials in the genesis of the probe. There were curious questions about how the twentysomething Papadopoulos came to be meeting with Australia’s highest-ranking diplomat in the United Kingdom, and about how and when, exactly, this Australian information came to be transmitted to the FBI.

Moreover, there are two basic flaws in version 2.0. First, Papadopoulos’s story is actually exculpatory of the Trump campaign: If Russia already had the emails and was alerting the Trump campaign to that fact, the campaign could not have been involved in the hacking. Second, there is confusion about exactly what Mifsud was referring to when he told Papadopoulos that the Russians had emails that could damage Clinton. Democrats suggest that Mifsud was referring to the Democratic National Committee emails. They need this to be true because (a) these are the emails that were hacked by Russian operatives, and (b) it was WikiLeaks’ publication of these hacked DNC emails in July 2016 that spurred the Aussies to report to their American counterparts about the encounter, two months earlier, between Papadopoulos and Downer — to whom Papadopoulos reported Mifsud’s emails story. But if the Australians really did infer that Mifsud and Papadopoulos must have been talking about the hacked DNC emails, the inference is unlikely. As the Daily Caller’s Chuck Ross has reported, Papadopoulos maintains that he understood Mifsud to be talking about the 30,000-plus emails that Hillary Clinton had deleted from her homebrew server. That makes more sense — it was those emails that Donald Trump harped on throughout the campaign and that were in the news when Mifsud spoke with Papadopoulos in April 2016. While there are grounds for concern that Clinton’s emails were hacked, there is no proof that it happened; Clinton’s 30,000 emails are not the hacked DNC emails on which the “collusion” narrative is based.

There was also the curiosity of why, if Papadopoulos was so central, the FBI had not bothered to interview him until late January 2017 — after Trump had already taken office.

The Real Origination

With the revelation last week that the Obama administration had insinuated a spy into the Trump campaign, it appeared that we were back to the original, Page-centric origination story. But now there was a twist: The informant, longtime CIA source Stefan Halper, was run at Page by the FBI, in Britain. Because this happened just days after Page’s Moscow trip, the implication was that it was the Moscow trip itself, not the dossier claims about it, that provided momentum toward opening the investigation. Then, just a couple of weeks later, WikiLeaks began publicizing the DNC emails; this, we’re to understand, shook loose the Australian information about Papadopoulos. When that information made its way to the FBI — how, we’re not told — the “Crossfire Hurricane” investigation was formally opened on July 31. Within days, Agent Peter Strzok was in London interviewing Downer, and soon the FBI tasked Halper to take a run at Papadopoulos.

 

The real origination story begins in the early spring of 2016 — long before Page went to Russia and long before the U.S. government was notified about Papadopoulos’s boozy conversation with Downer.

Last week, as controversy stirred over the possibility that the Obama administration had used a spy against the Trump campaign, the eagle eye of the Wall Street Journal’s Kimberly Strassel caught a couple of key passages from the House Intelligence Committee’s recent report on Russian interference in the election — largely overlooked passages on page 54.

It turns out that, in “late spring” 2016, the FBI’s then-director James Comey briefed the principals of the National Security Council on “the Page information.” As the Washington Examiner’s Byron York observes in a perceptive column today, NSC principals are an administration’s highest-ranking national-security officials. In Obama’s National Security Council, the president was the chairman, and among the regular attendees were the vice-president (Joe Biden), the national-security adviser (Susan Rice), and the director of national intelligence (James Clapper). The heads of such departments and agencies as the Justice Department (Attorney General Loretta Lynch) and the CIA (Director John Brennan) could also be invited to attend NSC meetings if matters of concern to them were to be discussed.

We do not know which NSC principals attended the Comey briefing about Carter Page. But how curious that the House Intelligence Committee interviewed so many Obama-administration officials who were on, or who were knowledgeable about, the NSC, and yet none of them provided a date for this meeting more precise than “late spring” 2016.

The other meeting outlined on page 54 of the House report is one that Comey and his deputy, Andrew McCabe, had with Attorney General Lynch. It probably occurred before the “late spring” Obama NSC meeting, and it was also “about Page.”

So . . . what exactly was “the Page information”? Well, we know that Page, an Annapolis alumnus and former naval intelligence officer, is . . . well, he’s a knucklehead. He is a Russia apologist whose “discursive online blog postings about foreign policy,” Politico noted, “invoke the likes of Kanye West, Oprah Winfrey, and Rhonda Byrne’s self-help bestseller, ‘The Secret.’” More to the point, Page blames American provocations for bad relations with the Kremlin and advocates, instead, a policy of appeasing the Putin regime. Page, who has also been an investment banker, has also had business ties to Gazprom, the Kremlin-controlled energy behemoth.

Most importantly, we know that Page was one of several American businessmen whom Russian intelligence operatives attempted to recruit in 2013. Yet, the main reason we know that is that Page cooperated with the FBI and the Justice Department in the prosecution of the Russian operatives. See Sealed ComplaintUnited States v. Evgeny Buryakov, pp. 12-13 (Page is identified as “Male-1” — whom one of the Russian spies refers to as “an idiot”).

What would have been the reason for Lynch, Comey, and McCabe to discuss Carter Page? Well, on March 21, 2016 — i.e., early spring — the Trump campaign announced the candidate’s foreign-policy advisory team. Trump had been spurned by the Republican foreign-policy clerisy and was under pressure to show that he had some advisers. So the campaign hastily put out a list of five little-known figures, including Page. Young George Papadopoulos (whose idea of résumé inflation was to claim, apparently falsely, that he’d been a participant in the Geneva International Model United Nations) was also among the five; but he was a virtual unknown at the time — he did not cause the FBI the consternation that the appearance of Page’s name did.

Another source of consternation: On March 29, just a few days after Page was announced as a foreign-policy adviser, Paul Manafort joined the Trump campaign. Manafort and his partner, Richard Gates (who also joined the Trump campaign), had been on the FBI’s radar over political-consultant work they’d done for many years for a Kremlin-backed political party in Ukraine — the party deeply enmeshed in Russian aggression against that former Soviet satellite state.

In discussing Page, one of the things Lynch, Comey, and McCabe discussed was the possibility of providing the Trump campaign with a “defensive briefing.” This would be a meeting with a senior campaign official to put the campaign on notice of potential Russian efforts to compromise someone — Page — within the campaign.

In retrospect, that is an interesting piece of information. Back in February, after House Intelligence Committee chairman Devin Nunes (R., Calif.) put out the Republican majority’s memo on FISA abuse, Committee Democrats responded. As I pointed out at the time, the memo by ranking member Adam Schiff (D., Calif.) let slip that the FBI had interviewed Carter Page in March 2016. (See Schiff Memo, p. 4 — the relevant footnote 10 is redacted.)

Was the interview of Page a reaction to his joining the Trump campaign? Was it an effort to gauge whether Page was still a recruitment target? Was it a substitute for giving the campaign a defensive briefing, or a preparatory step in anticipation of possibly giving such a briefing? We don’t know.

But here is what we can surmise.

There are many different ways the Obama administration could have reacted to the news that Page and Manafort had joined the Trump campaign.

Carter Page and Paul Manafort joined the Trump campaign in early spring, and the FBI was concerned about their possible ties to Russia. These were not trifling concerns, but they did not come close to suggesting a Trump-Russia espionage conspiracy against the 2016 election.

These FBI concerns resulted in a briefing of the Obama NSC by the FBI sometime in “late spring.” I suspect the “late spring” may turn out to be an earlier part of spring than most people might suppose — like maybe shortly after Page joined the Trump campaign.

There are many different ways the Obama administration could have reacted to the news that Page and Manafort had joined the Trump campaign. It could have given the campaign a defensive briefing. It could have continued interviewing Page, with whom the FBI had longstanding lines of communication. It could have interviewed Manafort. It could have conducted a formal interview with George Papadopoulos rather than approaching him with a spy who asked him loaded questions about Russia’s possession of Democratic-party emails.

Instead of doing some or all of those things, the Obama administration chose to look at the Trump campaign as a likely co-conspirator of Russia — either because Obama officials inflated the flimsy evidence, or because they thought it could be an effective political attack on the opposition party’s likely candidate.

From the “late spring” on, every report of Trump-Russia ties, no matter how unlikely and uncorroborated, was presumed to be proof of a traitorous arrangement. And every detail that could be spun into Trump-campaign awareness of Russian hacking, no matter how tenuous, was viewed in the worst possible light.

The Trump-Russia investigation did not originate with Page or Papadopoulos. It originated with the Obama administration.

http://www.nationalreview.com/2018/05/trump-russia-investigation-obama-administration-origins/

 

How the Clinton-Emails Investigation Intertwined with the Russia Probe

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump listens as Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton answers a question from the audience during their presidential town hall debate at Washington University in St. Louis, Mo., October 9, 2016. (Rick Wilking/Reuters)

Obama administration officials in the DOJ and FBI saw the cases as inseparably linked.‘Cruz just dropped out of the race. It’s going to be a Clinton Trump race. Unbelievable.”

It was a little after midnight on May 4, 2016. FBI lawyer Lisa Page was texting her paramour, FBI counterespionage agent Peter Strzok, about the most stunning development to date in the 2016 campaign: Donald Trump was now the inevitable Republican nominee. He would square off against Hillary Clinton, the Democrats’ certain standard-bearer.

The race was set . . . between two major-party candidates who were both under investigation by the FBI.

In stunned response, Strzok wrote what may be the only words we need to know, the words that reflected the mindset of his agency’s leadership and of the Obama administration: “Now the pressure really starts to finish MYE.”

MYE. That’s Mid-Year Exam, the code-word the FBI had given to the Hillary Clinton emails probe.

“It sure does,” responded Page. Mind you, she was not just any FBI lawyer; she was counsel and confidant to the bureau’s No. 2 official, Deputy Director Andrew McCabe.

If the thousands of text messages between Ms. Page and Agent Strzok are clear on anything, they are clear on the thinking of the bureau’s top brass.

In its Trump antipathy, the media-Democrat complex has admonished us to ignore the Strzok-Page texts. FBI officials are as entitled as anyone else to their political opinions, we’re told; and if they found Trump loathsome, they were no different from half the country.

That’s the wrong way to look at it. Regardless of their politics (which, the texts show, are not as left-wing as some conservative-media hyperbole claims), these FBI officials are a window into how the Obama administration regarded the two investigations in which Strzok and Page were central players: Mid Year Exam and Trump-Russia — the latter eventually code-named “Crossfire Hurricane.”

The two investigations must not be compartmentalized. Manifestly, the FBI saw them as inseparably linked: Trump’s victory in the primaries, the opening of his path to the Oval Office, meant — first and foremost — that the Hillary investigation had to be brought to a close.

And that is because bringing it to a close was already known, by May 4, to mean closing it without charges — opening her path to the Oval Office. It was the calculation of the FBI, the Obama Justice Department, the Obama-led intelligence agencies, and the Obama White House that wrapping up MYE was essential to stopping Donald Trump.

Trump had won the nomination, so now the pressure was on to remove the cloud of felony suspicion hanging over Mrs. Clinton.

The mistake is often made — I’ve made it myself — of analyzing the tanking of the Clinton emails case in a vacuum. There are, after all, reasons unrelated to Donald Trump that explain the outcome: Obama was implicated in Clinton’s use of a non-secure email system; Obama had endorsed Clinton; many high-ranking Obama Justice Department officials stood to keep their coveted positions, and even advance, in a Hillary Clinton administration; the Obama Justice Department was hyper-political and Clinton was the Democratic nominee.

But the Clinton investigation did not happen in a vacuum. It happened in the context of Donald Trump’s gallop through the Republican primaries and, just as important, of the Obama administration’s determination to regard the Trump campaign as a Kremlin satellite.

Conveniently, the Strzok-Page text occurred in what we might call the “late spring.” As I outlined in yesterday’s column, the “late spring” is the vague timeframe former Obama-administration officials gave to the House Intelligence Committee when asked when the FBI’s then-director, James Comey, briefed the president’s National Security Council about Carter Page. An obscure Trump campaign adviser, Page was regarded as a likely clandestine Russian agent by the Obama administration, on what appears to be flimsy evidence.

So . . . let’s think this through.

By May 4, the Obama administration has already concluded that the Trump campaign is part of a Russian covert op that must be stopped — or at least has rationalized that the Trump-Russia storyline can work politically to damage the Republican candidate.

At the same time, even though MYE is not yet formally “finished,” even though key witnesses (including Clinton herself) have not been interviewed, even though essential evidence (including the laptops used to store and vet Clinton’s emails) are not yet in the FBI’s possession, Director Comey and his top aides are already drafting the exoneration speech he will give two months later, recommending against prosecution.

And everybody knows the fix is in. The Strzok-Page texts show that the pressure to schedule the Clinton interview is based on the imperative to shut down the case, not to weigh what she had to say for investigative purposes. Clinton is permitted to have her co-conspirators represent her as lawyers at her interview — in violation of federal law, professional-ethics canons, and rudimentary investigative practice — precisely because no one regards the interview as a serious law-enforcement exercise.

When Attorney General Loretta Lynch’s shameful Arizona tarmac meeting with former President Clinton becomes a scandal in late June, she tries to mitigate the damage by announcing an intention to accept whatever recommendation the FBI makes. Lisa Page spitefully texts Peter Strzok. “And yeah, it’s a real profile in couragw [sic], since she knows no charges will be brought.”

To accomplish this, he effectively rewrites the classified-information statute Clinton violated; barely mentions the tens of thousands of official government business emails that she destroyed; claims without any elaboration that the FBI can see no evidence of obstruction; and omits mention of her just-concluded interview in which — among other things — she pretended not to know what the markings on classified documents meant.

On the very same day, the FBI’s legal attaché in Rome travels to London to interview Christopher Steele, who has already started to pass his sensational dossier allegations to the bureau. And with the help of CIA director John Brennan and British intelligence, the FBI is ready to run a spy — a longtime CIA source — at Carter Page in London on July 11, just as he arrives there from Moscow.

With the pressure to finish MYE in the rearview mirror, Hillary Clinton looked like a shoo-in to beat Donald Trump. By mid September, Lisa Page was saying as much at a meeting in Deputy Director McCabe’s office. But Strzok was hedging his bets: Maybe “there’s no way [Trump] gets elected — but I’m afraid we can’t take that risk. It’s like an insurance policy in the unlikely event you die before you’re 40.”

Soon, as the campaign wound down, the FBI and the Obama Justice Department were on the doormat of the FISA court, obtaining a surveillance warrant on Carter Page, substantially based on allegations in the Steele dossier — an uncorroborated Clinton-campaign opposition-research screed. Meanwhile, the FBI/CIA spy was being run at George Papadopoulos, and even seeking a role in the Trump campaign from its co-chairman, Sam Clovis.

Or maybe you think these things are unrelated . . .

https://www.nationalreview.com/2018/05/trump-russia-investigation-clinton-email-fbi-linked-cases/

How the FBI informant’s outreach to Trump staffers fits into overall investigation

May 22

Stefan A. Halper, the informant who assisted the FBI’s Russia investigation during 2016, is drawing the ire of President Trump and House Republicans.

On Monday evening, The Washington Post revealed the identity of the FBI informant at the center of President Trump’s recent frustrations. Over the course of 2016, emeritus professor at the University of Cambridge Stefan A. Halper contacted three people affiliated with Trump’s foreign-policy advisory team, two of whom were subjects of known FBI investigations beginning that summer.

Trump and his allies have criticized Halper’s contribution to the FBI’s investigation as an unwarranted intrusion into Trump’s campaign itself. Trump has repeatedly insisted that reports about Halper’s work showed bias on the part of the FBI that was a scandal “bigger than Watergate.”

Donald J. Trump

@realDonaldTrump

Reports are there was indeed at least one FBI representative implanted, for political purposes, into my campaign for president. It took place very early on, and long before the phony Russia Hoax became a “hot” Fake News story. If true – all time biggest political scandal!

What’s known about Halper’s outreach, though, suggests a modest effort to get information from particular people who were already the subject of FBI scrutiny. Two people he contacted, foreign policy advisers George Papadopoulos and Carter Page, initially met Halper in London — not, as some have implied, after Halper took some sort of position with the Trump campaign. (He did not do so.)

In light of the attention drawn to Halper by the president’s criticisms, we’ve put together a timeline showing how his known outreach overlapped with other investigatory efforts on the part of the FBI. Both Papadopoulos and Page were already being investigated by the FBI or had already been interviewed by the agency before Halper contacted them.

Items in bold involve Halper directly.

Pre-campaign

2012. Halper begins a relationship with the Defense Department, working with a Pentagon group called the Office of Net Assessment.

January 2013. Page meets a Russian foreign intelligence officer named Victor Podobnyy at a conference in New York.

March 2013. The FBI interviews Page after surveillance picks up Podobnyy mentioning Page as a potential target for recruitment.

Aug. 25, 2013. In a letter to a publisher, Page claims that for six months he has “had the privilege to serve as an informal advisor to the staff of the Kremlin in preparation for their Presidency of the G-20 Summit next month.”

Feb. 28, 2014. Michael Flynn participates in a national security seminar at Cambridge University organized by Halper and Richard Dearlove, the former head of Britain’s intelligence service.

The Trump campaign begins

June 16, 2015. Trump announces his candidacy.

Summer 2015. Hackers believed to be linked to the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) gain access to the network of the Democratic National Committee, according to U.S. intelligence agencies.

Aug. 25, 2015. Sam Clovis joins Trump’s campaign after working with the failed presidential bid of Rick Perry. He serves as a policy adviser and works with Trump’s foreign policy team.

Dec. 10, 2015. Flynn travels to Moscow to participate in an event celebrating the 10th anniversary of the Kremlin-funded news network Russia Today (now RT).

March 2016. The FBI again interviews Page.

March 6, 2016. Papadopoulos is asked to join the Trump campaign as an adviser on foreign policy issues. He had previously been advising Ben Carson’s unsuccessful presidential campaign. His initial conversation about joining the campaign was with Clovis, who, Papadopoulos told prosecutors, suggested that improving relations with Russia was a key campaign goal. (Clovis has denied that.)

March 14, 2016. Papadopoulos meets in Italy with a London-based professor named Joseph Mifsud, director of the London Academy of Diplomacy. Until he learns that Papadopoulos is tied to the Trump campaign, Mifsud is uninterested in talking.

March 21, 2016. Trump publicly identifies Papadopoulos and Page as part of his foreign policy advisory team.

March 31, 2016. The foreign policy advisory team meets. Trump tweets about it.

April 18, 2016. Papadopoulos is introduced via email to someone who has contacts at Russia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Papadopoulos and the contact begin communicating regularly to try to set up a meeting between Trump and Putin.

April 26, 2016. Papadopoulos is told by Mifsud that the Russians have “dirt” on Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. “They have thousands of emails,” he is told. The next day, he emails senior campaign adviser Stephen Miller to say he had “some interesting messages coming in from Moscow about a trip when the time is right.”

May 2016. During a night of drinking in London, Papadopoulos tells Australian High Commissioner to Great Britain Alexander Downer that he is aware that Russia has dirt on Clinton.

July 7, 2016. Page travels to Moscow to give a speech. The next day, he sends a memo to campaign staff with an overview of his travel. It reads, in part, “Russian Deputy Prime Minister and [New Economic School] Board Member Arkadiy Dvorkovich also spoke before the event. In a private conversation, Dvorkovich expressed strong support for Mr. Trump and a desire to work together toward devising better solutions in response to the vast range of current international problems.”

July 11 and 12, 2016. Page meets Halper at a Cambridge conference called Race to Change the World. It is focused on “the 2016 U.S. presidential election and the implications that this will have for future U.S. foreign policy.” The two continue to communicate over email.

July 11 or 12, 2016. Trump campaign staffers apparently intervene with the committee developing the Republican Party’s national security platform to remove language calling for arming Ukraine against Russian aggression.

July 22, 2016. WikiLeaks begins releasing emails stolen from the Democratic National Committee.

The investigation begins

July 31, 2016. The FBI opens its counterintelligence investigation into Russia’s efforts to interfere in the 2016 election. The investigation is triggered when Australian authorities contact the agency — realizing that Papadopoulos’s May mention of Russian dirt to Downer, the diplomat, was validated by the release of stolen data.

August 2016. Papadopoulos seeks permission to travel to Russia to facilitate a meeting between Trump and Putin. After being discouraged from doing so earlier in the year, Clovis tells Papadopoulos to do so “if feasible” — but not as a representative of the campaign.

Aug. 31 or Sept. 1, 2016. Halper has coffee with Clovis. Clovis says that the subject of conversation was China, not Russia. Halper requests a second meeting, but it doesn’t happen.

Sept. 2, 2016. Halper contacts Papadopoulos offering to pay him to write a paper about oil fields in the Mediterranean and inviting him to London. Papadopoulos does so later that month, receiving $3,000 in payment.

Sept. 15, 2016. While in London, Papadopoulos has drinks with a woman who identifies herself as Halper’s assistant. He meets Halper at the Traveler’s Club. According to the New York Times, Halper asked if Papadopoulos knew about any interference efforts, which Papadopoulos denied — to Halper’s annoyance.

Sept. 23, 2016. Yahoo News reports on possible contacts between Page and Russian authorities, based on information collected by former British intelligence officer Christopher Steele as part of his work for the firm Fusion GPS.

Sept. 26, 2016. Page announces his departure from the Trump campaign.

Oct. 21, 2016. The FBI is granted a warrant to surveil Page.

Nov. 8, 2016. Trump is elected president.

Sept. 2017. Page and Halper are in contact for the last time, according to an interview Page gave the Daily Caller.

Late September 2017. The warrant to surveil Page, extended three times, expires.

 

 

Edward Klein

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Edward J. Klein (born 1937) is an American author, tabloid writer and gossip columnist who is a former foreign editor of Newsweek, and former editor-in-chief of The New York Times Magazine (1977–1987). He has written about the KennedysBill ClintonHillary ClintonBarack ObamaMichelle Obama, and Donald Trump.

Early life

Born in Yonkers, New York, Klein attended Colgate University, graduated from Columbia University School of General Studies,[1] and received an MS degree from the Columbia University School of Journalism.[2]

Professional life

Klein is the former foreign editor of Newsweek and served as the editor-in-chief of The New York Times Magazine from 1977 to 1987. He frequently contributes to Vanity Fair and Parade and writes a weekly celebrity gossip column in Parade called “Personality Parade” under the pseudonym “Walter Scott.” (The Walter Scott pseudonym had originally been used by Lloyd Shearer, who wrote the column from 1958 to 1991.[3]) He also writes books, many of which have been on the New York Times Bestseller list. Additionally, he was the principal for the Business Communications School at The Euclid High School Complex. He was photographed by popular Humans of New York photographer Brandon Stanton, on June 12, 2014, which led to his personal website crashing due to a high volume of visitors.[4] Klein is also a contributor for the New York Post.[5]

Personal life

Klein is the father of two grown children, Karen (former manager of The Four Seasons restaurant in New York City), and Alec (a professor at Northwestern University).[6] He has been divorced twice. He was married to Dolores J. Barrett, senior vice president for Worldwide Public Relations at Polo Ralph Lauren, who died on 24 December 2013 in Manhattan.[7][8] Klein is the stepfather-in-law of Ruth Shalit.

Criticism

Klein received extensive criticism for his 2005 biography of Hillary Clinton, The Truth About HillaryPolitico criticized the book for “serious factual errors, truncated and distorted quotes and overall themes [that] don’t gibe with any other serious accounts of Clinton’s life.”[9]The conservative columnist John Podhoretz criticized the book in the New York Post, “Thirty pages into it, I wanted to take a shower. Sixty pages into it, I wanted to be decontaminated. And 200 pages into it, I wanted someone to drive stakes through my eyes so I wouldn’t have to suffer through another word.”[10] In the National Review, conservative columnist James Geraghty wrote, “Folks, there are plenty of arguments against Hillary Clinton, her policies, her views, her proposals, and her philosophies. This stuff ain’t it. Nobody on the right, left, or center ought to stoop to this level.”[11]

Kathryn Jean Lopez of National Review asked Klein in a June 20, 2005 interview, “Why on earth would you put such a terrible story in your book … that looks to be flimsily sourced at that?,” regarding his suggestion that Chelsea Clinton was conceived in an act of marital rape.[12] Facing criticism from both the left and right for making the claim, Klein eventually backed away from the insinuation in an interview with radio host Jim Bohannon on June 23, 2005.[13]

The British newspaper The Guardian pointed out a number of verifiable factual errors in Klein’s 2014 book Blood Feud.[14]

Questions of credibility of sources in work

Klein has also come under fire for his use of anonymous quotes, purported to be from the subjects of his books, which he claims he received from anonymous insiders. The credibility of such quotes has been questioned by writers such as Joe Conason,[15] Salon’s Simon Maloy [16] and conservative commentators Rush Limbaugh[17] and Peggy Noonan.[18] “Some of the quotes strike me as odd, in the sense that I don’t know people who speak this way,” Limbaugh said of Klein’s work, describing the sources as “grade school chatter.”

Books

References

  1. Jump up^ Traister, Rebecca. “The man behind the book”.
  2. Jump up^ “About”.
  3. Jump up^ Woo, Elaine (2001-05-26). “Lloyd Shearer; Leader of the ‘Personality Parade'”Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 4 February 2014. Also printed in: “Lloyd Shearer, Wrote `Personality Parade’” In: Sun Sentinel. May 28, 2001.
  4. Jump up^ “Humans of New York – Timeline – Facebook”.
  5. Jump up^ Klein, Edward (March 15, 2015). “Obama adviser behind leak of Hillary Clinton’s email scandal”New York Post.
  6. Jump up^ Alec Klein, Professor and Director of The Medill Justice ProjectMedill School of Journalism
  7. Jump up^ Cotto, William (30 December 2013). “Obituary: Dolores J. Barrett, Ralph Lauren Exec”. WWD. Retrieved 30 December2013.
  8. Jump up^ “Dolores Barrett Wed to Edward Klein”New York Times. October 25, 1987. Retrieved December 6, 2007.
  9. Jump up^ “Ed Klein’s Obama book debuts at No. 1 on Times list”Politico. Retrieved May 29, 2012.
  10. Jump up^ New York Post: Which is more a criticism of the subject matter than the author or the content.“Smear for Profit”. Archived from the original on April 18, 2006. Retrieved February 12, 2013. . June 22, 2005.
  11. Jump up^ “Now That is a Tough Review”National Review.
  12. Jump up^ “The Truth About Hillary”National Review.
  13. Jump up^ “Klein vs. his own book: Author backed off claim about Hillary pregnancy, contradicted his only source for rape claim”. Media Matters. October 10, 2007.
  14. Jump up^ Swaine, Jon (July 14, 2014). “Edward Klein: the difference between the truth and a lie”The Guardian.
  15. Jump up^ “News Hounds: Joe Conason Verbally Clobbers Ed Klein”NewsHounds. 2005-06-30. Retrieved 2017-11-12.
  16. Jump up^ Maloy, Simon. “Ed Klein’s new hack job: A credibility-vacant opportunist strikes again”.
  17. Jump up^ “Limbaugh Claims “Nobody Ever Denies” Ed Klein’s Credibility, Despite Previously Calling It Into Question”. March 16, 2015.
  18. Jump up^ Noonan, Peggy (June 24, 2005). “Eine Kleine Biographie” – via Wall Street Journal.

External links

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edward_Klein

Story 2: To Be or Not To Be — June 12, 2018 U.S./North Korea Summit Canceled For Now — To Be Continued — Maybe — Videos

Trump speaks after canceling North Korea summit

North Korea is willing to resolve issues with US following cancelled summit: report

North Korea responds to Trump’s cancellation of meeting

North Korea: We are willing to sit down with US anytime

North Korea expresses willingness to resolve issues with US

Trump welcomes North Korea’s ‘warm’ response to canceled summit

Pelosi: Kim Jong Un ‘Must Be Having A Giggle Fit’

Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers – Let’s Call The Whole Thing Off HQ

Trump dictated ‘every word’ of letter canceling North Korea summit

The White House offered new details Thursday on President Trump‘s decision to cancel a planned June 12 summit with North Korea, saying he did so after a U.S. team was stood up by the North Koreans and that the letter announcing the decision to leader Kim Jong Un was 100 percent Trump.
“The president dictated every word of the letter himself,” a senior White House official said.
The letter cited Kim’s “tremendous anger and open hostility” toward the United States in explaining why the meeting was being scrapped.

“I feel it is inappropriate, at this time, to have this long-planned meeting,” Trump wrote in the letter released by the White House.

The U.S. and North Korea had agreed to hold a meeting to set up the summit in Singapore last week, the White House official said.

But when the U.S. sent a deputy chief of staff and other advance team personnel to Singapore for that meeting, the North Koreas never showed up.

“They simply stood us up,” the official said.

The senior White House official also cast doubt on whether North Korea truly destroyed its nuclear test site, saying international inspectors were not allowed to attend
“We certainly hope that’s the case, but we really don’t know.”
“Secretary Pompeo and the South Korean government were promised by the North Koreans that international experts and officials would be invited to witness and verify today’s demolition,” the official said, but that promise was “broken.”
North Korea’s statement calling Vice President Pence a “political dummy” and threatening the U.S. appeared to be a breaking point for Trump. The president first saw the comments last night and “he took it in stride, he slept on it,” according to the official.
In the morning, Trump met with his national security team, including Pence, chief of staff John Kelly and Pompeo, and made his decision to call off the talks.

The official said it was “hard to miss” the implicit threat of nuclear war in North Korea’s statement, which threatened to “make the U.S. taste an appalling tragedy.”

“The president sought to remind North Korea of the real balance of power here,” the official added.
In the letter, Trump said North Korea was taking a step backward with actions that forced his hand.
“I believe this is a tremendous setback for North Korea and, indeed, a setback for the world,” Trump wrote in the letter.
But he also offered a warning to Pyongyang in his note, which was alternately bellicose and complimentary.
Trump said the United States nuclear weapons are “so massive and so powerful that I pray to God they will never have to be used.”
He then thanked Kim for the release of three prisoners earlier this month that had appeared to signal the talks were on course.
“Some day, I look very much forward to meeting you,” Trump wrote. “If you change your mind having to do with this most important summit, please do not hesitate to call me or write.”

The rising tensions between China, US

AFP
Recent events point to growing stresses between Washington and Beijing
Recent events point to growing stresses between Washington and Beijing (AFP Photo/FABRICE COFFRINI, MANDEL NGAN)
More

Washington (AFP) – President Donald Trump has often bragged of his friendship with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping, but recent events point to growing stresses between Washington and Beijing.

This week, the Pentagon pulled its invitation for China to participate in maritime exercises in the Pacific, then Trump on Thursday scrapped a summit with North Korea after suggesting Xi may have exacerbated a breakdown in communications.

And all this against a backdrop of simmering trade tensions — and a bizarre case involving a US official and a possible “sonic attack.”

– Summit sunk –

Trump on Thursday scrapped the historic summit with Kim Jong Un — set to take place June 12 in Singapore — to discuss the “denuclearization” of North Korea.

Before he pulled the plug, Trump had suggested Xi might have played a role in a recent toughening of North Korean rhetoric.

“There was a difference when Kim Jong Un left China the second time,” Trump said.

“There was a different attitude after that meeting and I was a little surprised. … And I think things changed after that meeting so I can’t say that I am happy about it.”

On Monday, Trump suggested China might have prematurely eased up on enforcing economic sanctions against Pyongyang, a move that runs counter to the US leader’s “maximum pressure” campaign.

China insists it is strictly enforcing sanctions adopted by the UN Security Council.

– Pacific exercise –

The Pentagon on Wednesday withdrew its invitation for China to join maritime exercises in the Pacific because of Beijing’s “continued militarization” of the South China Sea.

China hit back at the decision to disinvite it from the Rim of the Pacific exercises, calling it “very non-constructive” and saying it was taken without due reflection.

“It’s also a decision taken lightly and is unhelpful to mutual understanding between China and the US,” China’s Foreign Affairs Minister Wang Yi said.

– Trade war –

China and the US have stepped back from a potential trade war after Beijing officials were reported to have offered to slash the country’s huge surplus by $200 billion.

But no formal deals have been struck, and China has denied that any figure was set during negotiations in Washington.

Trump — who once accused China of “raping” the US — said he was “not satisfied” with the agreement and the issue is sure to keep grating on relations with Beijing.

– Sonic strains –

On Wednesday, the US embassy in Beijing issued a warning after reporting that an employee in the southern city of Guangzhou was diagnosed with mild traumatic brain injury (MTBI) apparently linked to “abnormal sounds.”

“The medical indications are very similar and entirely consistent with the medical indications that have taken place to Americans working in Cuba,” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said.

In Cuba last year, 24 diplomats and their family members were left with mysterious injuries resembling brain trauma, which were suspected of being caused by a “sonic attack.”

China said it had investigated the issue but hadn’t found that any organization or individual had “carried out such a sonic influence.”

https://www.yahoo.com/news/rising-tensions-between-china-us-014346160.html

 

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The Pronk Pops Show 1029, February 8, 2018, Story 1: Count Down To Shutdown and Defeat of Bipartisan Budget Busters Bill — Reactivate The Tea Party Movement Now — March On Washington — Form New Independence Party To Replace Big Government Budget Busting Democrats and Republicans — Fiscal Responsibility: Balanced Budgets — No More Deficits — Permanently Shutdown 8 Federal Departments — Videos — Story 2: FBI Informant On Uranium Deal Disclosures To Congress: Russians Attempted To Buy Influence With Bill and Hillary Clinton For Approval of Sale of Uranium One Deal To Russians — Videos

Posted on February 8, 2018. Filed under: Blogroll, Breaking News, Bribery, Bribes, Business, Cartoons, Communications, Congress, Corruption, Countries, Crime, Culture, House of Representatives, Senate, United States of America | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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Rand Paul’s Epic Speech on Government Spending, $20.6 Trillion Debt, and fiscal responsibility

Friedman on Reagan

Ronald Reagan Describes Milton Friedman

Milton Friedman on his Ideal Society

Milton Friedman – Enemies of the Free Market

Milton Friedman – The Seen Vs The Unseen

Milton Friedman – The Proper Role of Government

Milton Friedman: Why Government Started Growing

Milton Friedman – Spending and not “the debt”

Milton Friedman – Deficits and Government Spending

How to Reduce Debt and Grow the Economy: Milton Friedman on Budget Reconciliation Legislation (1993)

BREAKING: White House ‘preparing for the worst’ as second US government SHUTDOWN expected

Shutdown likely as Rand Paul holds up key vote

Rep. Brat Says Budget Deal a ‘Non-Starter’

Will the House follow the Senate on a budget deal?

TAKE IT TO THE LIMITS: Milton Friedman on Libertarianism

Paul on Holding Up ‘Rotten’ Budget Deal: ‘We’re Going to Bring Back Obama-Era Deficits’

Congress Scrambles Towards Budget Deal

Congress to Vote on Long Term Spending Bill

Why Congress’ budget solution might not avert a shutdown

PBS is a publicly funded American broadcaster

Shutdown ends after Trump signs budget deal

After Rand Paul’s blockade concluded, the Senate and House passed a sweeping budget deal.

House Speaker Paul Ryan is pictured. | AP Photo
“This is a great victory for our men and women in uniform. Republicans and Democrats joined together to finally give our troops the resources and our generals the certainty to plan for the future,” said Speaker Paul Ryan. | Jacquelyn Martin/AP Photo

After five and a half hours of a government shutdown, Congress passed a sweeping budget deal early Friday morning that will keep the doors open at federal agencies and lift stiff spending caps — giving Republicans another legislative victory, although it came at a high price.

At about 8:40 a.m. Friday, President Donald Trump tweeted that he “just signed Bill. Our Military will now be stronger than ever before. We love and need our Military and gave them everything — and more. First time this has happened in a long time. Also means JOBS, JOBS, JOBS!”

The measure faced opposition from the right and left, but lawmakers were loath to force a protracted shutdown fight. And many lawmakers were eager to see higher spending on defense and domestic programs.

The House vote, around 5:30 a.m., was 240-186. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif) had urged her members to oppose the bill over the GOP’s failure to resolve the standoff over 700,000 Dreamers, but her efforts ultimately fell short. Seventy-three Democrats ended up backing the bipartisan package, which came after months of closed-door talks.

The defeat was a bitter one for Pelosi and other top Democrats, who have sought for months to tie a resolution of the fight over the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program to the budget caps negotiations.

“She didn’t have a cohesive message… and at the end of the day, her team broke,” crowed Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-N.C.) following the House vote. “It’s a fascinating display of a bipartisan win and at the same time, Democrats ripping themselves apart about a bipartisan agreement. It doesn’t make any damn sense.”

The Senate had earlier passed the measure on a 71-28 vote shortly before 2 a.m.

In addition to tens of billions of dollars in new funding for both the Pentagon and domestic programs, the budget package will keep federal agencies open until March 23. This will give time for the House and Senate Appropriations panels to craft a massive $1.3 trillion omnibus spending bill that will fund federal agencies until Sept. 30.

The bipartisan agreement includes nearly $90 billion in disaster aid for Texas, Florida, California, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The federal government’s debt limit will also be extended until March 2019.

“This is a great victory for our men and women in uniform. Republicans and Democrats joined together to finally give our troops the resources and our generals the certainty to plan for the future,” said Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.).

Senate Democrats also claimed victory, especially Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), who helped craft the deal along with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky) and House leaders.

“What makes Democrats proudest of this bill is that after a decade of cuts to programs that help the middle class, we have a dramatic reversal,” added Schumer. “Funding for education, infrastructure, fighting drug abuse, and medical research will all, for the first time in years, get very significant increases, and we have placed Washington on a path to deliver more help to the middle class in the future.”

Yet the Senate vote came only after Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) refused to allow any action on the measure before the midnight funding deadline, triggering the second government shutdown in three weeks and an embarrassing outcome for the GOP-controlled Congress.

Paul blocked consideration of the measure because he didn’t get a vote on an amendment to keep Congress under strict budget caps, as well as stripping the debt limit from the package. GOP and Democratic leaders in the Senate feared if they let Paul proceed with his proposal, other senators would seek to amend the underlying deal as well. So they refused to allow a vote on Paul’s proposal.

Paul countered by delaying Senate consideration of the bill as long as possible, a move that angered McConnell and other top Republicans. Paul didn’t seem to care.

“There’s only so much I can do. This is a silly thing about it. I can keep them here until 3 a.m. I will make them listen to me,” Paul said on Fox News.

With a shutdown only hours away, McConnell tried to set up a vote on the budget deal beginning at 6 p.m. But Paul objected.

McConnell then pleaded with senators to accept a procedural vote and allow the Senate to move a deal that Trump backs.

“The president of the United States supports the bill and is waiting to sign it into law. I understand my friend and colleague from Kentucky does not join the president in supporting the bill,” McConnell said. “It’s his right, of course, to vote against the bill. But I would argue that it’s time to vote.”

Paul told POLITICO on Thursday evening that he would not consent to congressional leaders’ plan without a vote on his amendment. He ended up never getting that vote.

Asked if he’s worried about singlehandedly inheriting the blame for a shutdown, Paul replied: “No. I think it’s an important enough thing that we should have a discussion over.”

At midnight, the federal shutdown began, and the Office of Personnel Management emailed federal employees to make it official.

“Due to a lapse in appropriations, Federal government operations vary by agency,” the agency said. “Employees should refer to their home agency for guidance on reporting for duty.”

Even after all the Senate drama, passage in the House was not a sure bet either.

Opposition from GOP conservatives required Republican leaders to lean on Democrats for votes even as Pelosi took a hard line on DreamersIn the end, dozens of her rank-and-file rejected Pelosi’s plea and supported the package.

During a two-hour Democratic Caucus meeting on Thursday, Pelosi and party leaders made the case for why members should vote no but weren’t twisting arms.

“We have a moment. They don’t have the votes,” Pelosi declared inside the meeting according to two sources. Pelosi said Democrats needed to use their leverage on the budget deal to extract concessions from Ryan on resolving the standoff over Dreamers.

Rep. Ruben Gallego (Ariz.) warned his Democratic colleagues that donors would not support them if they don’t stand up and fight.

“Right now, I would say that I don’t believe that the Republicans are going to get enough votes from the Democrats to pass this, Gallego said. “They’re going to have to rely very heavily on enough of their votes.”

However, Rep. John Yarmuth (Ky.), top Democrat on the Budget Committee, said he would back the budget accord. Yarmuth said he believed Ryan wants a deal on the Dreamers. He also worried Democrats would get blamed for a shutdown.

“That’s my concern,” Yarmuth said. “If Republicans had 70 votes and needed 140 from us, then there’s no pressure on us. If they have 170 and we can’t put up 40 to support a bipartisan bill coming from the Senate, then we get blamed for a shutdown.”

After teasing details of the deal earlier in the day, congressional leaders unveiled the more than 650-page bill just before midnight Wednesday, proposing expansive policy changes and funding bumps for specific programs in every corner of the federal government.

“This is not the kind of deal you celebrate,” said House Budget Chairman Steve Womack (R-Ark.), who explained Wednesday that he had concerns he would be voicing to leadership before divulging whether he will vote for the bill.

Ryan played up the big boost in defense spending in order to placate Republicans, while also trying to reassure Pelosi and wavering Democrats that he is resolved to coming up with a solution for Dreamers.

“I know that there is a real commitment to solving the DACA challenge in both political parties. That’s a commitment that I share,” Ryan told reporters on Thursday. “If anyone doubts my intention to solve this problem and bring up a DACA and immigration reform bill, do not. We will bring a solution to the floor, one the president will sign.”

Trump canceled the DACA program last year and called on Congress to come up with a legislative fix he can support. Despite months of bipartisan talks, congressional leaders have failed to do so, leading to last month’s government shutdown and questions over whether Congress can pass a budget caps deal.

Ryan had hoped his last statement — a different version of what he has already promised — would provide enough Democrats the political cover they needed to vote for the budget deal. But it wasn’t enough for Pelosi.

A group of about 10 members of the Congressional Black Caucus, including its chairman Cedric Richmond (D-La.), were seen in an intense debate about the bill on the first floor of the Capitol Thursday morning. And members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus were debating whether they should support the plan during their weekly lunch huddle later that day. A number of Democrats from those groups ended up voting for the budget agreement.

For a number of House Democrats, the budget caps deals means billions of dollars more in federal spending for their districts , funds they desperately want.

“I cannot in good conscience go home and say to my [hospitals that serve low-income patients] that I didn’t vote for this because of DACA,” said Rep. Marcia Fudge (D-Ohio), a member of the CBC.

“Or I can’t go home and say to health centers that have already been handing out pink slips, ‘I didn’t vote for this and they gave me money for a permanent fix for your problem.’ I can’t go home and say to union people, ‘Look, they’re going to try to take care of your pension problem, but I didn’t vote for it.'”

Burgess Everett, Matthew Nussbaum and Sarah Ferris contributed to this report.

https://www.politico.com/story/2018/02/08/congress-massive-budget-deal-2018-398189

 

Sen. Paul cites jittery markets and rising rates as reasons to block spending bill

  • As the Senate tries to pass a massive spending bill, Kentucky’s Sen. Rand Paul raises alarm about jittery markets and rising interest rates.
  • The deadline for the spending bill looms, threatening a government shutdown.
  • Paul also razzes colleagues for being against deficits during the Obama administration but embracing them now.

Senator Rand Paul (R-KY)

Joshua Roberts | Reuters
Senator Rand Paul (R-KY)

Kentucky Republican Sen. Rand Paul was threatening to derail the Senate’s massive budget deal, pointing to the stock market plunge this week and arguing the bill spends too much money.

Paul said financial markets are “jittery” and demonstrate an “undercurrent of unease” because investors are worried about government debt and inflation. On Thursday the Dow Jones industrial average plunged more than 1,000 points for the second time this week, also marking the second-worst point drop in its history.

Frenzied selling in the market has come with a surge in the widely watched volatility index, with things going haywire last Friday after a report showed wages were growing. While good news for workers, the report sparked fears of inflation, sending stocks into their initial tailspin. The selling continued into this week.

But the government has also scrambled to pass a spending bill that will keep it in business and extend its ability to borrow beyond current limits. A shutdown deadline looms overnight. In the Senate on Thursday, Paul said he was elected to fight reckless government spending regardless of the funding deadline.

“You wonder why the stock market is jittery, one of the reasons is we don’t have the capacity to continue funding” the government like this, he said. “We’ve been funding it with phony interest rates.”

Rates have been near historic lows since the financial crisis forced the Federal Reserve to slash them and aggressively buy bonds to support the economy. The Fed is backing off that easy money policy, aiming to raise rates very gradually to more normal levels and reduce the amount of its bond holdings over time. But the Fed’s ability to raise rates and the timing of those increases could cool down a growing economy.

“What if rates become real again?” Paul asked in the Senate. “Already, interest rates are ticking up. Stock market is jittery. If you ask the question why, maybe it has something to do with the irresponsibility of Congress spending money we don’t have.”

He also razzed his colleagues for supporting the spending bill, which will raise the cap on government spending $300 million over two years. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimated that the bill would cost about $320 billion, much of it in the first year.

“If you were against [President] Obama’s deficits and now you’re for Republican deficits, isn’t that very definition of hypocrisy?”

https://www.cnbc.com/2018/02/08/rand-cites-jittery-markets-and-rising-rates-to-block-spending-bill.html

What you need to know about the Senate budget deal

Senate to vote on two-year budget Thursday

Senate leaders have agreed to the biggest budget deal of Donald Trump’s presidency, ending a months-long partisan standoff that briefly shuttered the federal government in January.

Both chambers are expected to vote on the package Thursday ahead of a midnight deadline for keeping the government open.

Passage in the Senate is a certainty given support from Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Democratic Leader Charles Schumer (N.Y.), who have hailed it as a major breakthrough.

Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) has also praised the deal, but conservative Republicans are rejecting it.

House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) says she’ll vote against the bill because it does not include language to protect from deportation hundreds of thousands of immigrants who came to the country illegally as children. But she isn’t whipping her members to oppose the legislation.

Here’s what’s in the deal:

Spending cap increases

The measure raises the cap on defense discretionary spending by $80 billion in fiscal year 2018 and $85 billion in fiscal year 2019.

It also provides $71 billion in emergency or overseas contingency funding for 2018 and $69 billion for 2019, bringing total defense spending for those two years to $700 billion and $716 billion, respectively.

It raises the cap on nondefense domestic discretionary spending by $63 billion in fiscal year 2018 and $68 billion in fiscal year 2019.

It fully repeals the automatic spending caps known as sequestration for nondefense programs. Counting the repeal of the sequester cut and $57 billion in new spending, it represents a $131 billion increase for nondefense programs.

The big jump in defense spending has earned plaudits from Pentagon chief James Mattis and defense hawks in both chambers, though some have questioned whether it’s too much money for the military.

“Military spending and defense spending is far above the president’s request,” said Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), an outspoken budget hawk who said Thursday he’d be voting on the bill. “I’m all for supporting our military, and I want to make sure they’re funded properly. It’s very difficult to have that big an increase in one year and then be able to use it wisely.”

It includes $23.5 billion for the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s fund for recovery repairs and future mitigation and $28 billion in community development block grants for housing and infrastructure.

It also has $2 billion to help Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands rebuild their electric grids and $2.4 billion to help citrus growers in Florida and farmers in other areas recover from hurricanes and wildfires.

It spends $4.9 billion in Medicaid funds for Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, which were hit hard by Hurricane Maria in 2017.

Debt ceiling

The measure suspends the debt ceiling until March 1, 2019, sidestepping a fight with House conservatives who have demanded attaching spending reforms to any expansion of federal borrowing authority.

There’s growing sentiment on both sides of the aisle that the debt limit should be abolished, as it only authorizes the Treasury Department to pay obligations that Congress has already authorized.

Budget hawks, however, are unhappy with the fiscal impact of the deal. The Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget warns it would “set the stage for more than $1.5 trillion of new debt over the next decade.”

Opioid addiction

The agreement allocates $6 billion over two years to fight opioid addiction, a major priority of Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio), who has spearheaded the Senate push to address what he says is a nationwide crisis.

It would fund prevention programs and law enforcement operations.

Infrastructure

The bill provides $20 billion in new infrastructure investment, reflecting demands from Republicans who wanted a portion of the nondefense spending hikes to go to infrastructure.

This reflects a priority for Trump, who has called on Congress to pass a $1.5 trillion infrastructure bill.

The $20 billion falls far short of the amount of federal money needed to leverage an infrastructure overhaul of the magnitude that Trump envisions, but it’s a start.

Veterans

The bill provides funding to reduce the backlog of more than 400,000 claims at Department of Veterans Affairs health centers.

One of Trump’s top priorities during the 2016 campaign was to improve care for military veterans. He signed an executive order expanding health care services for veterans leaving active duty.

The measure would provide $4 billion — $2 billion in 2018 and $2 billion in 2019 — to address the backlog.
Health care

Funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) would be extended by four years under the bill. The program was previously authorized for six years as part of a funding deal late last month that ended the January shutdown.

Democrats had called for a 10-year reauthorization of CHIP, but Schumer characterized the funding as a victory.

“American families with children who benefit with CHIP will now be able to rest easy for the next decade,” Schumer said Wednesday.

The deal OKs a two-year reauthorization of community health centers with more than $7 billion in total funding, another priority Democrats demanded during the January shutdown.

It closes the Medicare Part D “doughnut hole” for seniors.

And it gives $620 million over two years to the National Health Service Corps and $253 million over the same period to teaching health centers.

The bill also includes structural reforms to Medicare that a senior Democratic aide described as a routine way to offset the cost of the bill.

It would repeal ObamaCare’s Independent Payment Advisory Board, a controversial part of the 2010 Affordable Care Act that never got off the ground as critics warned it would take medical decisions away from doctors.

Budget, appropriations and pension reform

The bill establishes special committees to work on budget and appropriations reform and pensions reform.

Sen. David Perdue (R-Ga.), a leading proponent of budgetary reform, applauded the development Wednesday.

“There may be some new energy behind working on process reform. That could be an encouraging sign,” he said.

Democrats say the creation of a joint select committee to address what they call the multiemployer pension crisis will help millions of pensioners, including miners who are faced with cuts to their benefits.

Helping retired miners is a top priority of Sens. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) and Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) who are running for reelection this year in states that voted for Trump.

http://thehill.com/homenews/senate/372932-what-you-need-to-know-about-the-senate-budget-deal

RAND PAUL: Government spending is out of control

Rand Paul
US Sen. Rand Paul.Reuters/John Sommers II

US Sen. Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) is a 2016 presidential candidate.

Last year, when the Republican Party gained control of both houses of Congress, the American people were promised that things would change. The American people were promised that the economy would improve — that President Obama and his reckless spending habits would be pinned down once and for all. One year later, however, things do not appear to have changed at all.

Earlier this week, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) announced that the deficit for this fiscal year will hit $544 billion — $130 billion more than expected — while the 10-year deficit is projected to climb over $1 trillion higher than previously forecast.

That’s right: We are already over $18 trillion in debt — we already have a debt that is equal to our GDP — and yet our Republican-controlled Congress is still ready to continue spending more of our money at every turn.

Throughout my time in Washington, I have worked tirelessly to wake up Republicans and Democrats to the dangers of their reckless spending habits, but neither side is willing to face fiscal reality.

In the last decade, we have added nearly $10 trillion in new debt and the results have been far from stellar. Our labor force participation rate is sitting at a near-40-year low. Wage growth has remained stagnant, while real median household income has declined by over 7%.

What frustrates me the most about Washington’s penchant for spending $7 million a minute is that there is clearly hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of pork barrel spending that should be removed from our list of expenditures. For example, we recently spent taxpayer money on everything from a $104 million subsidy for millionaires to live in public housing to $850,000 on a foreign made-for-T.V. cricket league in Afghanistan. I cannot imagine that anyone living outside the beltway would support such wasteful expenditures.

Although there is clearly plenty of waste within our budget, my Republican colleagues — including fellow presidential candidates Sens. Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio — refuse to cut even a penny.

This March, Cruz and Rubio wanted to increase military spending by $190 billion over the next two years. I proposed raising defense spending by exactly the same amount, but also proposed offsetting the hike with cuts to wasteful spending. Cruz, Rubio, and nearly every other Republican in the Senate voted against my amendment. Fiscal conservatism is apparently much easier to preach than to do.

The problem in Washington is that there is an unholy alliance between right and left. They come together to spend more of your money at every turn. Conservatives want more military spending and liberals want more domestic spending. As a result, they shake hands and agree to spend more on everything.

Last October, this secret alliance came together to introduce the Bipartisan Budget Act, a statute which aimed to suspend the debt limit until the end of President Obama’s tenure and increase spending by $85 billion in just three years. It also proposed taking $150 billion from the Social Security trust fund — the trust fund that is projected to reach insolvency within 20 years — to fund other areas of the budget.

The U.S. Capitol is pictured on the opening day of the 112th United States Congress in Washington, January 5, 2011. REUTERS/Jim BourgThe US Capitol.Thomson Reuters

When it came time to vote on the Bipartisan Budget Act, I was not shy in expressing my disapproval. In hopes of convincing my colleagues of the negative impacts that this legislation would have on our economy, I voiced my objections on the Senate floor until the wee hours of the morning.

Instead of thanking me for fighting for conservative principles until the bitter end, however, many of my colleagues cursed and yelled at me for wasting their time. In the end, only 34 of my Republican colleagues stood with me to restore fiscal sanity.

It is disappointing that Republicans would agree to any new spending, especially since there is plenty of pork barrel spending that can and should be cut. Unfortunately, however, wasteful spending is the common ground that the unholy alliance never ceases to agree upon.

The truth is, Republicans are just as fiscally irresponsible as Democrats. Conservatives may support lowering your taxes, but they are still willing to spend more of your money at every turn. Cutting taxes while increasing spending simply means that American workers will be taxed in a more discrete and worse way. It means that our borrowing will increase, which will lead to more debt, higher inflation, and less money in all of our pockets.

Unfortunately, both parties will continue to spend us into oblivion until we restrain them from doing so. That’s why I have consistently advocated for a Balanced Budget Amendment to the Constitution. We need to make every Congressional representative swear an oath to balance the budget and ensure that it gets done.

Throughout my time in the Senate, I have also proven that I am serious about balancing the budget by laying out precisely what programs, departments, and expenditures I would cut in order to bring fiscal stability back to our nation’s checkbook. Every conservative that pays lip service to reining in the debt should follow my lead. We can’t afford for politicians to be “all talk.” We need action, and we need it now.

http://www.businessinsider.com/rand-paul-government-spending-is-out-of-control-2016-1

Congress stumbles toward second shutdown

Resistance from Rand Paul and House Democrats may push the government over the brink.

The Capitol is pictured. | Getty Images
In contrast to the House leaders’ battle, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Minority Leader Chuck Schumer have repeatedly praised the deal — and each other — as a compromise that dozens of senators from each party can support. | Saul Loeb/Getty Images

The White House urged federal agencies on Thursday evening to prepare for a government shutdown at midnight, as a budget deal stalled on Capitol Hill amid resistance from a cantankerous GOP senator and unhappy House Democrats.

“The Office of Management and Budget is currently preparing for a lapse in appropriations,” said an OMB official.

A senior Trump administration official said if a shutdown does happen, it would be over “within a few hours.” The official expressed confidence that the House would pass the bill once it ultimately comes over from the Senate.

The House and Senate were expected to vote earlier Thursday on the bipartisan budget package, which would jack up federal spending by about $300 billion over two years. The agreement also calls for raising the debt ceiling until March 2019, as well as nearly $90 billion in disaster aid.

But Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) is blocking consideration of the measure until he gets a vote on an amendment to keep Congress under strict budget caps, as well as stripping the debt limit from the package. Senate GOP leaders had believed they could work out an agreement with Paul, but the libertarian-leaning Kentucky Republican has not relented yet.

That could lead to a shutdown on Friday unless some action is taken to head it off. GOP leaders have already begun discussing a one- or two-day continuing resolution to avoid a shutdown, said Republican aides. Such a proposal could quickly pass both chambers if no lawmakers objected. Paul, however, may object.

“There’s only so much I can do. This is a silly thing about it. I can keep them here until 3 a.m. I will make them listen to me and they will have to have me to listen to me,” Paul said on Fox News. “It is too important for the country not to have a debate.”

Paul added: “I’m not advocating for shutting down the government. I’m also not advocating for keeping the damn thing open and borrowing a million dollars a minute. This is reckless spending that is out of control.”

With a shutdown only hours away, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) tried to set up a vote on the budget deal beginning at 6 p.m. But Paul objected.

McConnell pleaded with senators to accept a procedural vote and allow the Senate to move a deal that President Donald Trump backs.

“The president of the United States supports the bill and is waiting to sign it into law. I understand my friend and colleague from Kentucky does not join the president in supporting the bill,” McConnell said. “It’s his right, of course, to vote against the bill. But I would argue that it’s time to vote.”

But Paul told POLITICO on Thursday evening that he will not consent to congressional leaders’ plan without a vote on his amendment.

Asked if he’s worried about singlehandedly inheriting the blame for a shutdown, Paul replied: “No. I think it’s an important enough thing that we should have a discussion over.”

The Kentucky Republican’s move could lead to a shutdown starting at midnight. Unless he agrees to back off, the Senate couldn’t vote before 1 a.m. Even then, the House will need several hours to complete its work.

And passage in the House isn’t a sure bet either.

Opposition from GOP conservatives is forcing Republican leaders to lean on Democrats for votes even as House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) digs in with immigration demands.

“Part of it depends on the Democrats,” Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said Thursday morning on conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt’s show. “This is a bipartisan bill. It’s going to need bipartisan support.”

Right now it’s unclear how many Democrats will support the bill and the debate is sharply dividing the caucus.

During a two-hour Democratic Caucus meeting on Thursday, Pelosi and party leaders made the case for why members should vote no but weren’t twisting arms.

“We have a moment. They don’t have the vote,” Pelosi declared inside the meeting according to two sources. Pelosi said Democrats needed to use their leverage on the budget deal to extract concessions from Ryan on resolving the standoff over Dreamers.

A number of Democrats estimated that between 40 to 60 of their colleagues would support the budget agreement, although Republicans still believe more Democrats will vote for it in the end rather than allow a shutdown to happen.

Rep. Ruben Gallego (Ariz.) warned his Democratic colleagues that donors would not support them if they don’t stand up and fight.

“Right now, I would say that I don’t believe that the Republicans are going to get enough votes from the Democrats to pass this, Gallego said. They’re going to have to rely very heavily on enough of their votes.”

But Rep. John Yarmuth (Ky.), top Democrat on the Budget Committee, said he would back the budget accord. Yarmuth said he believed Ryan wants a deal on the Dreamers. He also worried Democrats would get blamed for a shutdown.

“That’s my concern,” Yarmuth said. “If Republicans had 70 votes and needed 140 from us, then there’s no pressure on us. If they have 170 and we can’t put up 40 to support a bipartisan bill coming from the Senate, then we get blamed for a shutdown.”

Top House Republicans believe they will get a “majority of the majority” to support the measure, although the House Freedom Caucus and other deficit hawks are against the proposal. Republicans are hoping for 70-plus Democratic votes. There are 238 House Republicans.

“This is not the kind of deal you celebrate,” said House Budget Chairman Steve Womack (R-Ark.), who explained Wednesday that he had concerns he would be voicing to leadership before divulging whether he will vote for the bill.

Ryan is playing up the big boost in defense spending in order to placate Republicans, while also trying to reassure Pelosi and wavering Democrats that he is resolved to coming up with a solution for Dreamers.

“I know that there is a real commitment to solving the the DACA challenge in both political parties. That’s a commitment that I share,” Ryan told reporters on Thursday, referring to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. “If anyone doubts my intention to solve this problems and bring up a DACA and immigration reform bill, do not. We will bring a solution to the floor, one the president will sign.”

President Donald Trump canceled the program last year and called on Congress to come up with a legislative fix he can support. Despite months of bipartisan talks, congressional leaders have failed to do so, leading to last month’s government shutdown and questions over whether Congress can pass a budget caps deal.

Ryan had hoped his latest statement — a different version of what he has already promised — will give enough Democrats cover to vote for the budget deal. But it wasn’t enough to assuage Pelosi.

While a legal fight is being waged in federal court over the Dreamers’ fate, Pelosi has been seeking Ryan’s assurance that the House will vote to protect the 700,000 undocumented immigrants who came to the United States as children.

Despite Pelosi’s position, and the threat of losing on the budget agreement vote, Ryan has refused to commit to anything more than the House would consider a bill that Trump can endorse. Yet without those assurances, there may not be enough House support to pass the budget deal.

A trio of House Democrats — Reps. Pete Aguilar (D-Calif.), Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) and Joe Kennedy (D-Mass.) — are whipping their colleagues to oppose the budget deal, according to multiple sources.

The budget deal is also threatening to divide the minority groups — the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, the Congressional Black Caucus and the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus — which have banded together during the immigration debate over the past several months. The three groups along with the Congressional Progressive Caucus were supposed to put out a statement Wednesday opposing the budget deal. But deep divisions within the CBC and CHC have delayed the unified show of opposition, and it’s unclear if the statement will come out at this point.

A group of about 10 members of the CBC, including its chairman Cedric Richmond (D-La.), were seen in an intense debate about the bill on the first floor of the Capitol late Thursday morning. And members of the CHC were debating whether they could and should support the plan during their weekly lunch huddle later that day.

For a number of House Democrats, the budget caps deals means billions of dollars more in domestic spending, funds they desperately want. So they will back the agreement despite their concerns over the Dreamers.

“I cannot in good conscience go home and say to my [hospitals that serve low-income patients] that I didn’t vote for this because of DACA,” said Rep. Marcia Fudge (D-Ohio), a member of the CBC.

“Or I can’t go home and say to health centers that have already been handing out pink slips, ‘I didn’t vote for this and they gave me money for a permanent fix for your problem.’ I can’t go home and say to union people, ‘Look, they’re going to try to take care of your pension problem, but I didn’t vote for it.'”

In contrast to Pelosi and Ryan’s battle, McConnell and Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) have repeatedly praised the deal — and each other — as a compromise that contains billions of dollars that dozens of senators from each party can support.

The massive package includes $89 billion in disaster aid, surpassing the $81 billion allocation the House approved in December for regions hit by wildfires and last year’s trio of catastrophic hurricanes.

As the Treasury Department reaches the upper limits of its borrowing authority this month, the measure would lift the debt ceiling until March 2019, giving lawmakers more than a year without the worry of default.

Burgess Everett, Matthew Nussbaum and Sarah Ferris contributed to this report.

https://www.politico.com/story/2018/02/08/congress-massive-budget-deal-2018-398189

Speaker Paul D. Ryan arriving to vote on Friday. He expressed support for bringing a debate on immigration to the House floor. CreditEric Thayer for The New York Times

WASHINGTON — President Trump on Friday morning signed into law a far-reaching budget deal that will boost spending by hundreds of billions of dollars and allow the federal government to reopen after a brief shutdown.

In an early morning tweet, Mr. Trump said he had signed the bill, adding: “Our Military will now be stronger than ever before. We love and need our Military and gave them everything — and more.”

Mr. Trump’s signature came quickly after the House gave final approval early Friday to the deal, hours after a one-man blockade by Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky delayed the votes and forced the government to briefly close.

House Democrats, after threatening to bring the bill down because it did nothing to protect young undocumented immigrants, gave Speaker Paul D. Ryan of Wisconsin the votes he did not have in his own party and ensured passage. In the end, 73 House Democrats voted yes to more than offset the 67 Republicans who voted no.

Just before the vote, Mr. Ryan voiced support for bringing a debate on immigration to the House floor — though he did not make a concrete promise, as Democratic leaders had wanted.

With Mr. Trump’s signature, the government will reopen before many Americans were aware it had closed, with a deal that includes about $300 billion in additional funds over two years for military and nonmilitary programs, almost $90 billion in disaster relief in response to last year’s hurricanes and wildfires, and a higher statutory debt ceiling.

It should pave the way for a measure of stability through September 2019 after months of lurching from fiscal crisis to fiscal crisis. Mr. Trump will get to boast of a huge increase in military spending, long promised, but his desire to more broadly reorder the government with deep cuts to programs like environmental protection, health research and foreign aid are dead for now — as is any semblance of fiscal austerity.

Mr. Paul, a Republican, made that final point. Angered at the huge spending increases at the center of the accord, he delayed passage for hours with a demand to vote on an amendment that would have kept in place the strict caps on spending that the deal raises.

 

How Rand Paul Exposed a Republican Reversal

It wasn’t long ago that fiscal responsibility was a mainstream Republican rallying cry. This was not lost on Senator Rand Paul who briefly shut the government down Friday morning over spending increases.

By CHRIS CIRILLO and SARAH STEIN KERR on Publish DateFebruary 9, 2018. Photo by Erin Schaff for The New York Times

“The reason I’m here tonight is to put people on the spot,” Mr. Paul said Thursday night. “I want people to feel uncomfortable. I want them to have to answer people at home who said, ‘How come you were against President Obama’s deficits and then how come you’re for Republican deficits?’”

The shutdown came on the heels of a three-day closure brought about by Senate Democrats last month. As midnight approached, Mr. Paul did not relent, bemoaning from the Senate floor what he saw as out-of-control government spending and repeatedly rebuffing attempts by his fellow senators to move ahead with a vote.

“I think the country’s worth a debate until 3 in the morning, frankly,” he said.

Senate leaders were left helpless.

“I think it’s irresponsible,” said Senator John Cornyn of Texas, the No. 2 Senate Republican, lamenting what he described as “the act of a single senator who just is trying to make a point but doesn’t really care too much about who he inconveniences.”

Mr. Paul’s ideological opponents were not buying his fiscal rectitude either. Senator Brian Schatz, Democrat of Hawaii, posted on Twitter: “Rand Paul voted for a tax bill that blew a $1.5 trillion hole in the budget. Now he is shutting the government down for three hours because of the debt. The chance to demonstrate fiscal discipline was on the tax vote. Delaying a vote isn’t a profile in courage, it’s a cleanup.”

The Senate finally passed the measure, 71 to 28, shortly before 2 a.m. The House followed suit around 5:30 a.m., voting 240 to 186 for the bill.

Before Mr. Paul waged his assault on the budget deal, trouble was already brewing in the House, where angry opposition from the Republicans’ most ardent conservative members, coupled with Democratic dissenters dismayed that the deal did nothing for young undocumented immigrants, created new tension as the clock ticked toward midnight.

Representative Nancy Pelosi of California, the Democratic leader, told a closed-door meeting of House Democrats that she would oppose the deal, and said that Democrats would have leverage if they held together to demand a debate on immigration legislation. But she suggested that she would not stand in the way of lawmakers who wanted to vote their conscience.

Pressing the issue further, Ms. Pelosi and the next two highest-ranking House Democrats sent a letter to Mr. Ryan noting their desire for the government to remain open and imploring him to make a public statement about the scheduling of a vote on legislation to protect young undocumented immigrants who are now shielded from deportation by the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA.

Senator Rand Paul on Thursday ahead of a budget vote in Washington. He held up the vote in a protest of government spending. CreditEric Thayer for The New York Times

“Most of our members believe the budget agreement is a reasonable compromise to address America’s military strength and critical domestic priorities, like fighting the opioid crisis, boosting N.I.H., moving forward to resolve the pension crisis, caring for our veterans, making college more affordable and investing in child care for working families,” they wrote. “We are writing to again reiterate our request that you make a public statement regarding the scheduling of a vote on a DACA bill.”

The run-up to the House vote, when passage was no foregone conclusion, highlighted the divisions within the Democratic caucus over how hard to push on the issue of immigration as Congress prepares to turn its focus to that politically volatile subject.

The text of the deal, stretching more than 600 pages, was released late Wednesday night, revealing provisions large and small that would go far beyond the basic budget numbers. The accord would raise strict spending caps on domestic and military spending in this fiscal year and the next one by about $300 billion in total. It would also lift the federal debt limit until March 2019.

Critically, it would also keep the government funded for another six weeks, giving lawmakers time to put together a long-term spending bill that would stretch through the rest of the fiscal year, which ends Sept. 30. The previous temporary funding measure, which was passed to end the last shutdown, expired at midnight on Thursday.

The deal had been expected to sail through the Senate, and the House had planned to vote on it later Thursday, until Mr. Paul took his stand.

The White House Office of Management and Budget instructed federal agencies to prepare for a possible lapse in funding, a spokeswoman said Thursday night. Even with a technical lapse in government funding, the effect of the shutdown was limited because lawmakers gave final approval to the deal only hours after funding expired.

As the midnight deadline approached, Senate leaders from both parties nudged Mr. Paul to stop holding up the vote. And his colleagues had little to do but wait.

“It’s just further example of the dysfunction of this place,” said Senator Ron Johnson, Republican of Wisconsin. “It’s ridiculous, isn’t it?”

Senator Johnny Isakson, Republican of Georgia, offered a succinct account of his evening: “Living the dream.”

GRAPHIC

Budget Deficits Are Projected to Balloon Under the Bipartisan Spending Deal

The two-year budget agreement reached by Senate leaders would contribute hundreds of billions of dollars to federal deficits.

 OPEN GRAPHIC

Among the Democratic ranks in the House, the objections were also strenuous, but for reasons very different from Mr. Paul’s.

With the monthslong budget impasse appearing to be on the cusp of a resolution, lawmakers were girding for a fight over the fate of young immigrants who were brought to the country illegally as children, known as Dreamers, as well as Mr. Trump’s plan to build a wall along the southern border with Mexico and other possible immigration policy changes.

The uncertain outlook for immigration legislation, and the disagreements on the best strategy to move forward, was starkly apparent as Ms. Pelosi commanded the House floor for more than eight hours on Wednesday in an effort to help the young immigrants. She said she would oppose the budget deal unless Mr. Ryan offered a commitment to hold a vote on legislation in the House that would address the fate of the Dreamers.

On Thursday, Ms. Pelosi herself displayed the conflicting pressures on Democrats. She simultaneously hailed the budget deal while proclaiming she would vote against it. In a letter to colleagues, she explained her opposition to the deal, but also nodded to its virtues and held back from pressuring other Democrats to vote against it.

“I’m pleased with the product,” she told reporters. “I’m not pleased with the process.”

In his own comments to reporters on Thursday, Mr. Ryan stressed his desire to address the fate of the young immigrants. But he did not offer the kind of open-ended commitment that might assuage Ms. Pelosi. Instead, he signaled that whatever bill the House considers would be one that Mr. Trump supports.

“To anyone who doubts my intention to solve this problem and bring up a DACA and immigration reform bill, do not,” he said. “We will bring a solution to the floor, one that the president will sign.”

Just before the vote on Friday morning, Mr. Ryan offered a further reassurance about his commitment to addressing DACA. Once the budget deal has been approved, he said, “we will focus on bringing that debate to this floor and finding a solution.”

The fate of the Dreamers has been in question since Mr. Trump moved in September to end DACA. The president gave Congress six months to come up with a solution to resolve their fate.

In recent months, Democrats have tried to make use of the leverage they have in fiscal negotiations, and the issue of immigration played a central role in last month’s shutdown. But Democrats have struggled to determine how hard they should push.

Representative Nancy Pelosi, the House minority leader, voted against the budget deal, but she did not pressure other Democrats to do so. CreditAl Drago for The New York Times

In last month’s closure, the vast majority of Senate Democrats voted to block a bill that would have kept the government open, only to retreat a few days later and agree to end the closure after Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the majority leader, promised a Senate debate on immigration.

This time, House Democrats were clearly split in their calculations about the best way to exert influence over immigration.

Representative Luis V. Gutiérrez, Democrat of Illinois, demanded that Ms. Pelosi use her muscle to “stop the Democrats from folding.”

“Anyone who votes for the Senate budget deal is colluding with this president and this administration to deport Dreamers,” he said. “It is as simple as that.”

Democrats also ran the risk of angering liberal activists who want to see them take a stand. Ben Wikler, the Washington director for MoveOn.org, said House Democrats would be making a strategic mistake by voting for the budget deal.

“If you’re looking at a boulder and you have a choice between a lever or your bare hands, you should use the lever,” he said.

But Democrats secured important victories in the budget pact, obtaining big increases in funding for domestic programs. Voting against those wins to take a stand on DACA — and possibly prolonging the shutdown — carried its own political risks.

Representative John Yarmuth of Kentucky, the top Democrat on the House Budget Committee, noted that the budget deal “meets nearly every one of our priorities.”

“If Democrats cannot support this kind of compromise, Congress will never function,” he said.

The spotlight was on House Democrats in part because it had become apparent that Republican leaders would most likely lack the votes to push the budget deal through the House with only votes from their own party.

A sizable number of House Republicans rebelled against the deal because of its huge increase in spending. The conservative House Freedom Caucus, which has roughly three dozen members, formally opposed the deal.

“It was pretty much a smorgasbord of spending and policy that got added to this,” said Representative Mark Meadows, Republican of North Carolina and the chairman of the Freedom Caucus. “Normally, people who eat at smorgasbords all the time are not the healthiest.”

Amount Added to the Debt for Each Fiscal Year Since 1960:

Barack Obama:Added $7.917 trillion, a 68 percent increase from the $11.657 trillion debt at the end of George W. Bush’s last budget, FY 2009.

  • FY 2016 – $1.423 trillion.
  • FY 2015 – $327 billion.
  • FY 2014 – $1.086 trillion.
  • FY 2013 – $672 billion.
  • FY 2012 – $1.276 trillion.
  • FY 2011 – $1.229 trillion.
  • FY 2010 – $1.652 trillion.
  • FY 2009 – $253 billion. (Congress passed the Economic Stimulus Act, which spent $253 billion in FY 2009. This rare occurrence should be added to President Obama’s contribution to the debt.)

George W. Bush:Added $5.849 trillion, a 101 percent increase from the $5.8 trillion debt at the end of Clinton’s last budget, FY 2001.

  • FY 2009 – $1.632 trillion. (Bush’s deficit without the impact of the Economic Stimulus Act).
  • FY 2008 – $1.017 trillion.
  • FY 2007 – $501 billion.
  • FY 2006 – $574 billion.
  • FY 2005 – $554 billion.
  • FY 2004 – $596 billion.
  • FY 2003 – $555 billion.
  • FY 2002 – $421 billion.

Bill Clinton: Added $1.396 trillion, a 32 percent increase from the $4.4 trillion debt at the end of George H.W. Bush’s last budget, FY 1993.

  • FY 2001 – $133 billion.
  • FY 2000 – $18 billion.
  • FY 1999 – $130 billion.
  • FY 1998 – $113 billion.
  • FY 1997 – $188 billion.
  • FY 1996 – $251 billion.
  • FY 1995 – $281 billion.
  • FY 1994 – $281 billion.

George H.W. Bush: Added $1.554 trillion, a 54 percent increase from the $2.8 trillion debt at the end of Reagan’s last budget, FY 1989.

  • FY 1993 – $347 billion.
  • FY 1992 – $399 billion.
  • FY 1991 – $432 billion.
  • FY 1990 – $376 billion.

Ronald Reagan: Added $1.86 trillion, a 186 percent increase from the $998 billion debt at the end of Carter’s last budget, FY 1981. Reaganomics didn’t work to grow the economy enough to offset tax cuts.

  • FY 1989 – $255 billion.
  • FY 1988 – $252 billion.
  • FY 1987 – $225 billion.
  • FY 1986 – $297 billion.
  • FY 1985 – $256 billion.
  • FY 1984 – $195 billion.
  • FY 1983 – $235 billion.
  • FY 1982 – $144 billion.

Jimmy Carter: Added $299 billion, a 43 percent increase from the $699 billion debt at the end of  Ford’s last budget, FY 1977.

  • FY 1981 – $90 billion.
  • FY 1980 – $81 billion.
  • FY 1979 – $55 billion.
  • FY 1978 – $73 billion.

Gerald Ford: Added $224 billion, a 47 percent increase from the $475 billion debt at the end of Nixon’s last budget, FY 1974.

  • FY 1977 – $78 billion.
  • FY 1976 – $87 billion.
  • FY 1975 – $58 billion.

Richard Nixon: Added $121 billion, a 34 percent increase from the $354 billion debt at the end of LBJ’s last budget, FY 1969.

  • FY 1974 – $17 billion.
  • FY 1973 – $31 billion.
  • FY 1972 – $29 billion.
  • FY 1971 – $27 billion.
  • FY 1970 – $17 billion.

Lyndon B. Johnson: Added $42 billion, a 13 percent increase from the $312 billion debt at the end of JFK’s last budget, FY 1964.

  • FY 1969 – $6 billion.
  • FY 1968 – $21 billion.
  • FY 1967 – $6 billion.
  • FY 1966 – $3 billion.
  • FY 1965 – $6 billion.

John F. Kennedy: Added $23 billion, an 8 percent increase from the $289 billion debt at the end of Eisenhower’s last budget, FY 1961.

  • FY 1964 – $6 billion.
  • FY 1963 – $7 billion.
  • FY 1962 – $10 billion.

Dwight Eisenhower: Added $23 billion, a 9 percent increase from the $266 billion debt at the end of Truman’s last budget, FY 1953.

  • FY 1961 – $3 billion.
  • FY 1960 – $2 billion.
  • FY 1959 – $8 billion.
  • FY 1958 – $6 billion.
  • FY 1957 – $2 billion surplus.
  • FY 1956 – $2 billion surplus.
  • FY 1955 – $3 billion.
  • FY 1954 – $5 billion.

Harry Truman: Added $7 billion, a 3 percent increase from the $259 billion debt at the end of FDR’s last budget, FY 1945.

  • FY 1953 – $7 billion.
  • FY 1952 – $4 billion.
  • FY 1951 – $2 billion surplus.
  • FY 1950 – $5 billion.
  • FY 1949 – slight surplus.
  • FY 1948 – $6 billion surplus.
  • FY 1947 – $11 billion surplus.
  • FY 1946 – $11 billion.

Franklin D. Roosevelt: Added $236 billion, a 1,048 percent increase from the $23 billion debt at the end of Hoover’s last budget, FY 1933.

  • FY 1945 – $58 billion.
  • FY 1944 – $64 billion.
  • FY 1943 – $64 billion.
  • FY 1942 – $23 billion.
  • FY 1941 – $6 billion.
  • FY 1940 – $3 billion.
  • FY 1939 – $3 billion.
  • FY 1938 – $1 billion.
  • FY 1937 – $3 billion.
  • FY 1936 – $5 billion.
  • FY 1935 – $2 billion.
  • FY 1934 – $5 billion.

Herbert Hoover: Added $6 billion, a 33 percent increase from the $17 billion debt at the end of Coolidge’s last budget, FY 1929.

  • FY 1933 – $3 billion.
  • FY 1932 – $3 billion.
  • FY 1931 – $1 billion.
  • FY 1930 – $1 billion surplus.

Calvin Coolidge: Subtracted $5 billion from the debt, a 26 percent decrease from the $21 billion debt at the end of Harding’s last budget, FY 1923.

  • FY 1929 – $1 billion surplus.
  • FY 1928 – $1 billion surplus.
  • FY 1927 – $1 billion surplus.
  • FY 1926 – $1 billion surplus.
  • FY 1925 – $1 billion surplus.
  • FY 1924 – $1 billion surplus.

Warren G. Harding: Subtracted $2 billion from the debt, a 7 percent decrease from the $24 billion debt at the end of Wilson’s last budget, FY 1921.

  • FY 1923 – $1 billion surplus.
  • FY 1922 – $1 billion surplus.

Woodrow Wilson: Added $21 billion to the debt, a 727 percent increase from the $2.9 billion debt at the end of Taft’s last budget, FY 1913.

  • FY 1921 – $2 billion surplus.
  • FY 1920 – $1 billion surplus.
  • FY 1919 – $13 billion.
  • FY 1918 – $9 billion.
  • FY 1917 – $2 billion.
  • FY 1916 – $1 billion.
  • FY 1915 – $0 billion (slight surplus).
  • FY 1914 – $0 billion.

FY 1789 – FY 1913: $2.9 billion debt created. (Source: Historical Tables, U.S. Treasury Department.)

https://www.thebalance.com/us-debt-by-president-by-dollar-and-percent-3306296

 

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CLINTON CASH – Full Documentary

Uranium One informant makes Clinton allegations to Congress

n FBI informant connected to the Uranium One controversy told three congressional committees in a written statement that Moscow routed millions of dollars to America with the expectation it would be used to benefit Bill Clinton‘s charitable efforts while Secretary of State Hillary Clinton quarterbacked a “reset” in U.S.-Russian relations.

The informant, Douglas Campbell, said in the statement obtained by The Hill that he was told by Russian nuclear executives that Moscow had hired the American lobbying firm APCO Worldwide specifically because it was in position to influence the Obama administration, and more specifically Hillary Clinton.

Democrats have cast doubt on Campbell’s credibility, setting the stage for a battle with Republicans over his testimony.

Campbell added in the testimony that Russian nuclear officials “told me at various times that they expected APCO to apply a portion of the $3 million annual lobbying fee it was receiving from the Russians to provide in-kind support for the Clintons’ Global Initiative.”“The contract called for four payments of $750,000 over twelve 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.”

APCO officials told The Hill that its support for the Clinton Global Initiative and its work with Russia were not connected in any way, and in fact involved different divisions of the firm. They added their lobbying for Russia did not involve Uranium One but rather focused on regulatory issues aimed at helping Russia better compete for nuclear fuel contracts inside the United States.

“APCO Worldwide’s activities involving client work on behalf of Tenex and The Clinton Global Initiative were totally separate and unconnected in any way,” APCO told The Hill in a statement. “All actions on these two unconnected activities were appropriate, publicly documented from the outset and consistent with regulations and the law. Any assertion otherwise is false and unfounded.”

Nick Merrill, a spokesman for Clinton, said Campbell’s account is simply being used to distract from the investigations into President Trump and Russian election meddling.

“Just yesterday the committee made clear that this secret informant charade was just that, a charade. Along with the widely debunked text-message-gate and Nunes’ embarrassing memo episode, we have a trifecta of GOP-manufactured scandals designed to distract from their own President’s problems and the threat to democracy he poses,” Merrill said.

In addition to his written statement, Campbell on Wednesday was interviewed for several hours behind closed doors by staff from both parties on the Senate Judiciary, the House Intelligence and the House Oversight and Government Reform committees.

Democrats have asked that a transcript of the interview be released to the public, but a court reporter was not present for the interview and Campbell was not sworn in.

Republicans are seeking to use Campbell’s account to expand their investigations beyond the 2016 election and Trump to possible questions about Russian graft during the Obama administration.

They note that the FBI found Campbell’s undercover work valuable enough to reward him with a $50,000 check in 2016.

Democrats, in turn, have accused Republicans of making “wild claims” about Campbell and Uranium One.

In a letter sent this week, Rep. Elijah Cummings (Md.), the top Democrat on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, and Rep. Adam Schiff (Calif.), the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, asserted that Justice Department officials told both parties during a briefing in December that they ultimately found they “could not trust” Campbell when he was working as an FBI informant.

Justice officials also said that Campbell had at no point made “any allegations of corruption, illegality, or impropriety on Clinton, the Clinton Foundation, President Clinton, the Uranium One deal, or [the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States],” according to the Democrats.

Campbell painted a different picture in his written statement.

He accused Obama administration officials of making decisions that ended up benefitting the Russian nuclear industry, which he said was seeking to build a monopoly in the global uranium market to help President Vladimir Putin seek a geopolitical advantage over the United States.

The United States already imports more than 90 percent of the uranium it uses in nuclear reactors, according to U.S. government figures from 2016.

Campbell wrote that Russian nuclear executives “boasted” during vodka-fueled meetings monitored by the FBI about “how weak the U.S. government was in giving away uranium business and were confident that Russia would secure the strategic advantage it was seeking in the U.S. uranium market.”

He also said he asked his FBI handlers why the U.S. was not more aggressive.

“I expressed these concerns repeatedly to my FBI handlers. The response I got was that politics was somehow involved,” he stated.

Much of the GOP’s interest in Campbell’s story centers on the Obama administration’s approval of the Uranium One deal. That deal at the time gave the Russian mining giant Rosatom control of roughly 20 percent of America’s capacity to mine uranium.

The deal was approved unanimously in 2010 by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), a multi-agency board that includes the State Department, the Defense Department and the Justice Department, among other agencies. The board has the power to block deals that threaten national security.

Campbell, whose work as an informant was first disclosed in a series of stories published last fall by The Hill, helped the FBI gather evidence as early as 2009 that the Russian nuclear industry was engaged in a kickback, bribery and racketeering scheme on U.S. soil. The criminal scheme, among other things, compromised the U.S. trucking firm that had the sensitive job of transporting uranium around America, Campbell testified.

Campbell says he provided the FBI the evidence of wrongdoing months before the Obama administration approved a series of favorable decisions that enriched Rosatom, including the CFIUS decision.

The Hill’s stories last fall prompted the Justice Department to take the rare step of freeing Campbell from his nondisclosure agreement as an intelligence asset so he could testify to Congress about what he witnessed inside Russia’s nuclear industry.

Campbell gave the congressional committees documents he said he provided to his FBI handlers in 2010 showing that the Russian and American executives implicated in the Tenex bribery scheme specifically asked him to try to help get the Uranium One deal approved by the Obama administration.

“In 2010, officials inside Tenex became interested in helping another Rosatom subsidiary, ARMZ, win Obama administration approval to purchase Uranium One, a Canadian company with massive Kazakh and large U.S. uranium assets,” Campbell said.  “Although Tenex and ARMZ are separate subsidiaries, Tenex had its own interest in Uranium One. Tenex would become responsible for finding commercial markets and revenue for those uranium assets once they were mined.”

“The emails and documents I intercepted during 2010 made clear that Rosatom’s purchase of Uranium One — for both its Kazakh and American assets — was part of Russia’s geopolitical strategy to gain leverage in global energy markets,” he testified. “I obtained documentary proof that Tenex was helping Rosatom win CFIUS approval, including an October 6, 2010 email … asking me specifically to help overcome opposition to the Uranium One deal.”

Campbell told lawmakers the purchase of the Uranium One assets and the securing of billions of new uranium sales contracts inside the United States during the Obama years were part of the “Russian uranium dominance strategy.”

“The importance of the Uranium One decision to Tenex was made clear by the fact that the Russian government directed Mikerin to open a new U.S. office for Tenex and to create a new American entity called Tenam in early October 2010, just weeks before Rosatom and ARMZ won the Obama administration approval to buy Uranium One,” he said.

“Rosatom/Tenex threw a party to celebrate, which was widely attended by American nuclear industry officials. At the request of the FBI, I attended and recorded video footage of Tenam’s new offices,” he added.

Campbell’s written statement covered a wide array of activities he conducted under the FBI’s direction, ranging from a failed sting effort to lure Putin to the United States to gathering evidence that Russia was “helping Iran build its nuclear capability.”

Campbell provided Congress an April 16, 2010, memo he said he wrote and gave to the FBI that spelled out in detail the Russian efforts to aid Iran.

“Tenex continues to supply Iran fuel through their Russian company,” Campbell wrote in that 2010 document obtained by The Hill, naming the specific company that was being used to help. “They continue to assist with construction consult [sic] and fabricated assemblies to supply the reactor. Fabricated assemblies require sophisticated engineering and are arranged inside the reactor with the help and consult” of Russians.

“The final fabricators to Iran are being flown by Russian air transport due to the sensitive nature of the equipment,” his 2010 memo to the FBI added.

Campbell told lawmakers he also gave the FBI “documentary proof that officials in Moscow were obtaining restricted copies of IAEA compliance reports on Iranian nuclear inspections, a discovery that appeared to deeply concern my handlers.”

While most of his account involved intelligence matters, Campbell also briefly described the toll years of undercover work took on him personally. He continued informing through a bout with brain cancer, a case of leukemia and battles with excessive drinking, he told lawmakers.

He also was never reimbursed for the hundreds of thousands of dollars he used of his own money to make bribe payments under the FBI’s direction to the Russians to facilitate his cover.

But Campbell said he was gratified when the FBI in 2016 gave him a $50,000 reward check celebrating his undercover work, directly answering Democrats criticisms that federal prosecutors didn’t trust him as a witness.

“My FBI handlers praised my work. They told me on various occasions that details from the undercover probe had been briefed directly to FBI top officials. On two occasions my handlers were particularly excited, claiming that my undercover work had been briefed to President Obama as part of his daily presidential briefing,” he said.

In the end, though, he told lawmakers he remains disturbed that the Obama administration made so many favorable decisions benefiting the Russian nuclear industry when the evidence of wrongdoing and ill intent was so extensive.

“I was frustrated watching the U.S. government make numerous decisions benefiting Rosatom and Tenex while those entities were engaged in serious criminal conduct on U.S. soil,” he wrote. “Tenex and Rosatom were raking in billions of U.S. dollars by signing contracts with American nuclear utility clients at the same time they were indulging in extortion by using threats to get bribes and kickbacks, with a portion going to Russia for high ranking officials.” 

He said he never got a satisfactory answer from the FBI.

“I remember one response I got from an agent when I asked how it was possible CFIUS would approve the Uranium One sale when the FBI could prove Rosatom was engaged in criminal conduct.  His answer: ‘Ask your politics,’ ” Campbell said.

This article was corrected on Feb. 8 to reflect that Campbell gave an interview to lawmakers.

http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/372861-uranium-one-informant-makes-clinton-allegations-in-testimony

An FBI informant connected to the “Uranium One” scandal said that Russian nuclear executives sent money to the United States in hopes it would influence the Obama administration and then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, according to a report Wednesday.

In written testimony obtained by the Hill, the informant, Douglas Campbell, told Congress that Russian nuclear officials told him that Moscow hired American lobbying firm APCO Worldwide with a $3 million annual lobbying fee in hopes of influencing Clinton to “reset” U.S.-Russia relations while supporting former President Bill Clinton’s charity efforts.

“The contract called for four payments of $750,000 over twelve months,” Campbell explained. “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.”

When asked for comment, a spokesperson for APCO said that their work with the Clinton Foundation and Russia are not connected in any way and their work with Russia did not involve Uranium One.

A spokesperson for Clinton said that Campbell’s testimony is a distraction from the Trump-Russia investigation.

Campbell testified before staff from the Senate Judiciary, House Intelligence and House Oversight, and Government Reform committees for several hours on Wednesday and Democrats are now pushing for a transcript from that testimony to be publicly released.

http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/fbi-informant-says-russians-wired-money-in-hopes-of-influencing-hillary-clinton-in-uranium-one-ploy-report/article/2648478

Analysis: As Liberals Cheer Shepard Smith’s Fact Check, is ‘Uranium One’ a Real Story, or Not?

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Posted: Nov 15, 2017 1:05 PM

Liberals online are giddily sharing a segment that aired on Fox News yesterday afternoon, in which anchor Shepard Smith addresses the ‘Uranium One’ deal that many conservatives have cited as evidence of “collusion” between the Russian government and the Clintons.  One blogger from the left-wing attack site Media Matters cheers on Smith for ‘annihilating‘ the anti-Clinton storyline that characterized some of the story’s coverage elsewhere on the network.  A liberal journalism professor also tweeted out the video, applauding Smith for ‘shaming’ Fox News by exposing the controversy as a “nothing” story.  Watch:

Watch Shep Smith of Fox shame his own network by explaining what the ‘Uranium One’ controversy amounts to: nothing.

This is strong, concise journalism by Smith, who helps knock down a number of the misconceptions about the Uranium One deal.  I think some conservatives have been lazy in their understanding and framing of the issue, allowing embellishments and exaggerations to proliferate.  For instance, the general notion is widely shared in certain quarters that Hillary Clinton personally green-lit the deal, which lined the pockets of rich Clinton Foundation donors — while selling out US national security by shipping our uranium to the Russians.  The truth is much more nuanced and complicated than that, major elements of which Smith explains in the clip.  A few additional points:

(1) Smith notes that questions about the Uranium One deal were first seriously raised by Peter Schweizer, whom he identifies as a Breitbart editor.  Someone’s professional connection to that website can be discrediting in many circles, but it’s worth pointing out that Schweizer’s investigative journalism in Clinton Cash was seen as credible by mainstream media outlets like the New York Times and Washington Post, which forged formal agreements to access and build off of his research.

(2) The New York Times published a major piece about the Uranium One deal in 2015, noting that it helped fulfill Vladimir Putin’s goal of amassing more control over the global uranium supply.  The key excerpt from that story:

At the heart of the tale are several men, leaders of the Canadian mining industry, who have been major donors to the charitable endeavors of former President Bill Clinton and his family. Members of that group built, financed and eventually sold off to the Russians a company that would become known as Uranium One. Beyond mines in Kazakhstan that are among the most lucrative in the world, the sale gave the Russians control of one-fifth of all uranium production capacity in the United States. Since uranium is considered a strategic asset, with implications for national security, the deal had to be approved by a committee composed of representatives from a number of United States government agencies. Among the agencies that eventually signed off was the State Department, then headed by Mr. Clinton’s wife, Hillary Rodham Clinton.  As the Russians gradually assumed control of Uranium One in three separate transactions from 2009 to 2013, Canadian records show, a flow of cash made its way to the Clinton Foundation.

Uranium One’s chairman used his family foundation to make four donations totaling $2.35 million. Those contributions were not publicly disclosed by the Clintons, despite an agreement Mrs. Clinton had struck with the Obama White House to publicly identify all donors.Other people with ties to the company made donations as well. And shortly after the Russians announced their intention to acquire a majority stake in Uranium One, Mr. Clinton received $500,000 for a Moscow speech from a Russian investment bank with links to the Kremlin that was promoting Uranium One stock. At the time, both Rosatom and the United States government made promises intended to ease concerns about ceding control of the company’s assets to the Russians. Those promises have been repeatedly broken, records show.

So a big element of this story — which played out over five years, during which time key players in the transaction poured lots of money into the Clintons’ personal and “charitable” bank accounts — is the non-disclosure of interested donors, as was required.  Smith mentions this in his monologue.  Also at issue were the “repeatedly broken” pledges meant to mitigate national security concerns about Russia’s acquisition of significant American uranium interests.  And yes, it’s a fact that one of several agencies that ultimately had to sign off on the agreement was the State Department, which was headed at the time by Hillary Clinton.  She was not the sole approver of the deal, nor could she have single-handedly stopped it from going through; also, it’s unclear how personally involved she was in the process (given her track record, it’s reasonable to treat denials from her and her underlings with great skepticism).  Regardless, her agency’s thumbs-up did help pave the way for the plan to become reality.

(3) The biggest piece of the Clinton puzzle as it relates to Uranium One is Bill Clinton, and the gobs of money he hauled in from interested parties over the years — in exchange for the extraordinary access and political legitimatization that accompanies the blessing of a former US president.  Back to the Times story:

The path to a Russian acquisition of American uranium deposits began in 2005 in Kazakhstan, where the Canadian mining financier Frank Giustra orchestrated his first big uranium deal, with Mr. Clinton at his side. The two men had flown aboard Mr. Giustra’s private jet to Almaty, Kazakhstan, where they dined with the authoritarian president, Nursultan A. Nazarbayev. Mr. Clinton handed the Kazakh president a propaganda coup when he expressed support for Mr. Nazarbayev’s bid to head an international elections monitoring group, undercutting American foreign policy and criticism of Kazakhstan’s poor human rights record by, among others, his wife, then a senator. Within days of the visit, Mr. Giustra’s fledgling company, UrAsia Energy Ltd., signed a preliminary deal giving it stakes in three uranium mines controlled by the state-run uranium agency Kazatomprom.

If the Kazakh deal was a major victory, UrAsia did not wait long before resuming the hunt. In 2007, it merged with Uranium One, a South African company with assets in Africa and Australia, in what was described as a $3.5 billion transaction. The new company, which kept the Uranium One name, was controlled by UrAsia investors including Ian Telfer, a Canadian who became chairman. Through a spokeswoman, Mr. Giustra, whose personal stake in the deal was estimated at about $45 million, said he sold his stake in 2007. Soon, Uranium One began to snap up companies with assets in the United States…several months [after the fruitful 2005 trip], Mr. Giustra had donated $31.3 million to Mr. Clinton’s foundation.

At a later stage in this process, a crucial Uranium One business deal was in serious jeopardy; the company asked the US State Department to intervene on its behalf, as a means of reassuring the government of Kazakhstan. “What the company needed, [a Uranium One official] said, was official written confirmation that the licenses were valid,” the Times reported.  “The American Embassy ultimately reported to the secretary of state, Mrs. Clinton. Though the cable was copied to her, it was given wide circulation, and it is unclear if she would have read it…What is clear is that the embassy acted, with the cables showing that the energy officer met with Kazakh officials to discuss the issue on June 10 and 11.”  Three days later, the endangered deal went through.

The Times separately reported that Bill Clinton lied about a related meeting he hosted at his home with Kazakh officials in 2008, only telling the truth when he was informed that there was photographic evidence of the event.  Recent revelations that the FBI had investigated how “Russian nuclear industry officials were engaged in bribery, kickbacks, extortion and money laundering designed to grow Vladimir Putin’s atomic energy business inside the United States” reignited this issue, and refocused attention on Russia’s efforts to influence US power-brokers and policy.  The Clintons were central to that story.

(4) Smith accurately tells viewers that the Uranium One deal “stipulated that no uranium produced may be exported.”  He added that without special permission, the company was required to sell “the uranium that it mines in the United States to civilian power reactors in the United States.” These are important facts, but the top concern wasn’t that the US would export its uranium to Russia, or that Russia would gain an upper hand on nuclear weapons.  According to the Times, “the national security issue at stake in the Uranium One deal was not primarily about nuclear weapons proliferation…Instead, it concerned American dependence on foreign uranium sources. While the United States gets one-fifth of its electrical power from nuclear plants, it produces only around 20 percent of the uranium it needs, and most plants have only 18 to 36 months of reserves.”  The story quotes Republican Senator John Barrasso expressing the worry that the agreement “would give the Russian government control over a sizable portion of America’s uranium production capacity.”  And so it did.

In summary, Smith’s segment clarified some important details about Uranium One that have too often been lost, overlooked, or intentionally ignored in the partisan shuffle.  Facts and truth ought to matter, and conservatives shouldn’t cut corners or make things up in order to deflect from unhelpful Russia-related issues in an effort to implicate “the other side” (though there are certainly some questions that Democratsand the Left should answer on that front).  It’s understandable why liberals would high-five each other over Smith’s report, but by pretending that Uranium One was an above-board, total non-issue for the Clintons all along, they’re making the same mistake some on the Right have made by mischaracterizing the string of transactions.  The facts suggest that one side has blown the process leading up to Uranium One deal’s approval out of proportion, while the other side has dismissed it entirely as a phony scandal (a reflexive impulse).  Echo chambers are powerful vortexes.

https://townhall.com/tipsheet/guybenson/2017/11/15/is-uranium-one-a-real-story-or-not-n2409862

Uranium One

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Uranium One Inc.
Industry Mining
Founded 2005
Headquarters Toronto, OntarioCanada
Key people
Chris Sattler (CEO)
Vadim Zhivov (President)
Products Uranium
Gold
Number of employees
Rosatom2,220[1]
Parent
Website www.uranium1.com

Uranium One is a Canadian uranium mining company with headquarters in Toronto, Ontario. It has operations in AustraliaCanadaKazakhstanSouth Africa and the United States. In January 2013 Rosatom, the Russian state-owned uranium monopoly, through its subsidiary ARMZ Uranium Holding, purchased the company at a value of $1.3 billion.[2] The purchase of the company by Russian interests is, as of October 2017, under investigation by the United States House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.

History

On July 5, 2005, Southern Cross Resources Inc. and Aflease Gold and Uranium Resources Ltd announced that they would be merging under the name SXR Uranium One Inc.[3]

In 2007 Uranium One acquired a controlling interest in UrAsia Energy,[4] a Canadian firm with headquarters in Vancouver from Frank Giustra.[5] UrAsia has interests in rich uranium operations in Kazakhstan,[6] and UrAsia Energy’s acquisition of its Kazakhstan uranium interests from Kazatomprom followed a trip to Almaty in 2005 by Giustra and former U.S. President Bill Clinton where they met with Nursultan Nazarbayev, the leader of Kazakhstan. Substantial contributions to the Clinton Foundation by Giustra followed,[5][7] with Clinton, Giustra, and Mexican telecommunications billionaire Carlos Slim in 2007 establishing the Clinton Foundation’s Clinton Giustra Sustainable Growth Initiative to combat poverty in the developing world.[8] In addition to his initial contribution of $100 million Giustra pledged to contribute half of his future earnings from mining to the initiative.[8]

In June 2009, the Russian uranium mining company ARMZ Uranium Holding Co. (ARMZ), a part of Rosatom, acquired 16.6% of shares in Uranium One in exchange for a 50% interest in the Karatau uranium mining project, a joint venture with Kazatomprom.[9] In June 2010, Uranium One acquired 50% and 49% respective interests in southern Kazakhstan-based Akbastau and Zarechnoye uranium mines from ARMZ. In exchange, ARMZ increased its stake in Uranium One to 51%. The acquisition was expected to result in a 60% annual production increase at Uranium One, from approximately 10 million to 16 million pounds.[10][11] The deal was subject to anti-trust and other conditions and was not finalized until the companies received Kazakh regulatory approvals, approval under Canadian investment law, clearance by the US Committee on Foreign Investments, and approvals from both the Toronto and Johannesburg stock exchanges. The deal was finalized by the end of 2010.[11] Uranium One’s extraction rights in the U.S. amounted to 0.2% of the world’s uranium production.[12] Uranium One paid its minority shareholders a dividend of 1.06 US Dollars per share at the end of 2010.[citation needed]

ARMZ took complete control of Uranium One in January 2013 by buying all shares it did not already own.[2] In October 2013, Uranium One Inc. became a private company and a wholly owned indirect subsidiary of Rosatom.[3][13] From 2012 to 2014, an unspecified amount of Uranium was reportedly exported to Canada via a Kentucky-based trucking firm with an existing export license; most of the processed uranium was returned to the U.S., with approximately 25% going to Western Europe and Japan.[14][15]

Congressional investigation

Since uranium is considered a strategic asset with national security implications, the acquisition of Uranium One by Rosatom was reviewed by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), a committee of nine government agencies including the United States Department of State, which was then headed by Hillary Clinton.[16][17][18] The voting members of the committee can object to such a foreign transaction, but the final decision then rests with the president.[19]

In April 2015, The New York Times wrote that, during the acquisition, the family foundation of Uranium One’s chairman made $2.35 million in donations to the Clinton Foundation. The donations were legal but not publicly disclosed by the Clinton Foundation, despite an agreement with the White House to disclose all contributors.[20] In addition, a Russian investment bank with ties to the Kremlin and which was promoting Uranium One stock paid Bill Clinton $500,000 for a speech in Moscow shortly after the acquisition was announced.[17][18] Several members of Clinton’s State Department staff and officials from the Obama-era Department of Justice have said that CFIUS reviews are handled by civil servants and that it would be unlikely that Clinton would have had more than nominal involvement in her department’s signing off on the acquisition.[21] According to Snopes, the timing of donations might have been questionable if Hillary Clinton had played a key role in approving the deal, but all evidence suggests that she did not and may in fact have had no role in approving the deal at all.[22]

In October 2017, following a report by John F. Solomon and Alison Spann published in The Hill and citing anonymous sources,[23][24] the United States House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence opened an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the sale of Uranium One.[21]

FactCheck.org reported that there was “no evidence” connecting the Uranium One–Rosatom merger deal with a money laundering and bribery case involving a different Rosatom subsidiary which resulted in the conviction of a Russian individual in 2015, contrary to what is implied in the Solomon-Spann story.[20][25]Glenn Kessler of The Washington Post wrote that the problem with some of the accusations that Republican commentators levied against Clinton is that she “by all accounts, did not participate in any discussions regarding the Uranium One sale”.[26]

In October 2017, President Trump directed the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) to lift a “gag order” it had placed on a former FBI informant involved the investigation. The DOJ released the informant from his nondisclosure agreement on October 25, 2017,[27][28][29]authorizing him to provide the leaders of the Senate Judiciary Committee, House Oversight Committee, and the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence “any information or documents he has concerning alleged corruption or bribery involving transactions in the uranium market” involving Rosatom, its subsidiaries Tenex and Uranium One, and the Clinton Foundation.[30] The informant’s laywer said that the informant “can tell what all the Russians were talking about during the time that all these bribery payments were made”.[31] During a C-SPAN interview, Hillary Clinton said that any allegations that she was bribed to approve the Uranium One deal were “baloney”.[32]

In November 2017, Shepard Smith of Fox News has described President Trump’s accusations against Clinton regarding Uranium One “inaccurate in a number of ways”. Smith said that the sale of Uranium One was “not a Hillary Clinton approval” but instead a unanimous decision by the nine cabinet-level department heads of CFIUS, approved by the president and with permits issued by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Smith added that “most of the Clinton Foundation donations” came from Frank Giustra, who said he “sold his stake in the company” three years before it was sold to Russia. Lastly, Smith noted that “none of the uranium was exported for use by the U.S. to Russia”.[33][34][35]

On November 16, 2017, William D. Campbell identified himself as the FBI informant. He is a former lobbyist for Tenex, the US-based arm of Russia’s Rosatom.[36][37]

See also

References

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uranium_One

Rosatom

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Rosatom
Native name
Государственная корпорация по атомной энергии «Росатом»
State corporation
Industry Nuclear energy
Predecessor Federal Agency on Atomic Energy
Founded 2007
Founder Mehsin Nseir
Headquarters MoscowRussia
Revenue Increase821.2 billion[1] (2015)
Total assets Increase2,029 billion[1] (2015)
Website rosatom.ru

The State Atomic Energy Corporation Rosatom (RussianРосатомtr. RosatomIPA: [rɐsˈatəm] stylized as ROSATOM, also known as Rosatom State Corporation) is a Russian state corporation headquartered in Moscow and specializes in nuclear energy. Established in 2007, the organization comprises more than 360 enterprises, including scientific research organizations, the nuclear weapons complex, and the nuclear icebreakerfleet.

The state corporation is one of the leaders in the world’s nuclear energy industry. The organization is the world’s second largest uranium producer and the fifth largest in terms of production, the world’s fourth largest producer of nuclear energy, controls 40% of the world market of uranium enrichment services and 17% of the nuclear fuel market.[2]

“Rosatom” is a nonprofit organization, and while its tasks include the development of nuclear energy, the growth of enterprises of the nuclear fuel cycle, and the fulfillment of the functions assigned to it by the state, it also ensures national security (nuclear deterrence), nuclear and radiation safety, as well as development of applied and fundamental science. In addition, the state corporation is authorized on behalf of the state to fulfill Russia’s international obligations in the field of the use of nuclear energy and of non-proliferation of nuclear materials.

History

The history of the Rosatom is linked with the history of the nuclear industry in Russia and its predecessor, the Soviet Union. On June 26, 1953, by the decision of the Council of Ministers, the First Main Directorate under the Council of Ministers supervising the nuclear industry was transformed into the Ministry of Medium Machine Building (Minsredmash). In addition to developing and testing nuclear weapons, the ministry also dealt with production of nuclear power. In 1954, the world’s first grid-connected nuclear power plantObninsk, was opened and put under operation under the direction of Igor Kurchatov, a Soviet nuclear physicist in ObninskKaluga Oblast. As the Soviet nuclear industry grew, so did the ministry, and from the 1970s to the 1980s, more than 1.5 million people worked in the ministry’s organizations and enterprises. In 1989, Minsredmash and the Ministry of Atomic Energy merged to form the Ministry of Nuclear Engineering and Industry of the USSR.[3][4]

The Ministry for Atomic Energy of the Russian Federation [(RussianМинистерство по атомной энергии Российской Федерации, also known as Minatom (Russian: Минaтом)] was established as a successor to the Russian part of the Ministry of Nuclear Engineering and Industry of the USSR on January 29, 1992 after the dissolution of the Soviet Union. The newly created ministry received about 80% of the enterprises of the union department, including 9 nuclear power plants with 28 power units. Under this name, the ministry existed until March 9, 2004, when it was transformed into the Federal Agency on Atomic Energy, also known as Rosatom, in accordance to presidential decree. Physicist and academician of the Russian Academy of SciencesUSSR State Prize winner laureate, and former Minister for Atomic Energy Alexander Rumyantsev was appointed head of the agency. On November 15, 2005, he was replaced by Sergey Kiriyenko. In 2006, the agency adopted target program “Development of the Russian Nuclear Energy Complex for 2007-2010 and for the Future to 2015” which 26 nuclear power units were to be launched in Russia before 2020.[3][4]

On December 1, 2007, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a law adopted by the Federal Assembly under which the Federal Atomic Energy Agency were to be abolished, and its powers and assets were to be transferred to the newly created “State Atomic Energy Corporation Rosatom.” On December 12 of the same year, the agency transformed into a state corporation with Sergey Kiriyenko appointed general director. In July 2008, Rosatom adopted an activity program designed to last till 2023. Rosatom’s positions were further strengthened by the transfer of the nuclear civil icebreaking fleet FSUE Atomflot under Rosatom’s jurisdiction.[3][5]

In 2009, nuclear technologies is assigned as one of the priorities for developing Russia’s economy. By 2011, Rosatom’s investments in research and development work have grown seven-fold compared to 2006. Another important direction of the development of the corporation was an increase in its influence on foreign markets, since the number of contracts for the construction of nuclear power plants abroad was almost doubled in 2011. According to Sergey Kiriyenko, the ten-year portfolio of orders of Rosatom State Corporation abroad was estimated at more than $100 billion at the end of 2014.[3][6]

In 2017, Rosatom decided to invest in wind power, believing that rapid cost reductions in the renewable industry will become a competitive threat to nuclear power, and has started to build wind turbines. Rosatom was also concerned that nuclear export opportunities were becoming exhausted. In October, Rosatom was reported to be considering postponing commissioning new nuclear plants in Russia due to excess generation capacity and that new nuclear electricity prices are higher than for existing plant. The Russian government is considering reducing support for new nuclear under its support contracts, called Dogovor Postavki Moshnosti (DPM), which guarantee developers a return on investment through increased payments from consumers for 20 years.[7][8][9]

Operations

The Russian government has set three major goals for Rosatom: ensure sustainable development of the nuclear weapons complex, increase nuclear contribution in electricity generation (to 25%-30% by 2030) with continued safety improvements, and to strengthen the country’s position on the global market of nuclear technology, by expanding traditional markets and acquiring new ones.

Rosatom holds first place in the world in terms of uranium deposits ownership, fourth in terms of nuclear energy production, produces 60% of the world’s enriched uranium and 45% of the world’s nuclear fuel. Rosatom is the only vendor in the world able to offer the nuclear industry’s entire range of products and services, starting from specialized materials and equipment and all the way through to finished products such as nuclear power plants or nuclear powered icebreakers.[10]

Rosatom controls nuclear power holding company Atomenergoprom, nuclear weapons companies, research institutes, and nuclear and radiation safety agencies. It also represents Russia in the world in the field of peaceful use of nuclear energy and protection of the non-proliferation regime.[5]

Nuclear power plants

The management company Rosenergoatom operates all of Russia’s nuclear power plants and represents the electric power division of the state corporation Rosatom. As of July 2017, ten nuclear power plants (35 power units) operated in Russia with a total capacity of 27.9 GW, producing about 18% of all electricity produced in Russia.

In operation

Name Image Location Units operated
Balakovo
BalakovoNPP1.jpg
BalakovoSaratov Oblast
Beloyarsk
Beloyarsk NNP-3.jpg
Bilibino
Bilibino Nuclear Power Plant.JPG
Kalinin
Udomlya Kalinin AES.jpg
UdomlyaTver Oblast
Kola
Мурманская обл. Кольская АЭС Сбросной кананал.2008-22.jpg
Kursk
RIAN archive 341199 Kursk Nuclear Power Plant.jpg
Leningrad
RIAN archive 305005 Leningrad nuclear power plant.jpg
Novovoronezh
Novovoronezhskaya Nuclear Power Plant.jpg
Rostov
RIAN archive 155730 The first unit of the Volgodonsk NPP.jpg
Smolensk
Smolensk NPP 2013-05-07.jpg

Rosatom manages the Russian fleet of nuclear icebreakers through Atomflot.

OKB Gidropress, which develops the current Russian nuclear power station range VVER, is a subsidiary of Rosatom.[11] OKBM Afrikantov, which develops the current Russian nuclear power station BN-series such as BN-800 and BN-1200, is a subsidiary of Rosatom.

Projects

Rosatom is currently building 37% of nuclear reactors under construction worldwide, generally of the OKB Gidropress VVER type.[12] Fennovoima, an electricity company in Finland, announced in September 2013 that it had chosen the OKB Gidropress VVER AES-2006 pressurized water reactor for a proposed power-generating station in PyhäjokiFinland. The construction contract is estimated to be worth 6.4 billion euros.[13]

On 11 November 2014 head of Rosatom Sergey Kiriyenko and head of Atomic Energy Organization of Iran Ali Akbar Salehi have signed a Protocol to Russian-Iranian Intergovernmental Agreement of 1992, according to which the sides will cooperate in construction of eight power generating units with VVER reactors. Four of these reactors are planned to be constructed for the second construction phase of Bushehr Nuclear Power Plant and four of them will be constructed on another site.[14]

Rosatom received $66.5 billion of foreign orders in 2012, including $28.9bn for nuclear plant construction, $24.7bn for uranium products and $12.9bn for nuclear fuel exports and associated activities.[15]

Rosatom also involves on large-scale projects such as ITER | ITER-Russia and FAIR | FAIR-Russia.

As of Jan 2017, the total portfolio orders of Rosatom reached US$300 billion.[16]

Management

The highest executive body of Rosatom is the Board of Trustees. The board is headed since 2005 by Sergei Kiriyenko. The other Board members are[17]

See also

References

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rosatom

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The Pronk Pops Show 1012, December 12, 2017, Story 1: Russia’s Attempt To Control and Corner World Uranium Supply Needed For Fuel To Power Nuclear Reactors To Produce Electricity — Greed, Money, Power — Obama’s Administration’s Cover-up of Rosatom’s U.S. Subsidiary Crimes Between 2004-2014 And Bill and Hillary Clinton’s and Clinton Charitable Foundation Pay for Play Racket — Massive Scandal About To Go Nuclear — Videos

Posted on December 14, 2017. Filed under: American History, Banking System, Barack H. Obama, Bill Clinton, Blogroll, Breaking News, Bribery, Business, Coal, Coal, College, Communications, Constitutional Law, Crime, Culture, Currencies, Disasters, Donald J. Trump, Donald J. Trump, Donald J. Trump, Donald Trump, Economics, Education, Empires, Employment, Energy, Extortion, Fiscal Policy, Foreign Policy, Former President Barack Obama, Freedom of Speech, Government, Government Dependency, Government Spending, High Crimes, Hillary Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Hillary Clinton, History, Human, Human Behavior, James Comey, Law, Life, Lying, Media, Natural Gas, Natural Gas, News, Nuclear, Nuclear, Obama, Oil, Oil, People, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, Polls, President Barack Obama, President Trump, Public Corruption, Radio, Raymond Thomas Pronk, Resources, Robert S. Mueller III, Rule of Law, Scandals, Science, Security, Spying, Success, Surveillance/Spying, Tax Policy, Taxation, Taxes, Treason, Videos, Violence, Wall Street Journal, War, Wealth, Weapons, Weather, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

 

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Clinton Uranium Scam

Trey Gowdy Eager To See What The FBI Informant Has To Say Its Very Important

Attorney For FBI Informant Rebuffs Report – Obama, Clinton Uranium One – Story

Pay to Play – Uranium One and the Clinton Foundation

LibertyPen

Published on Nov 9, 2017

In 2009, the Obama administration approved the transferred control of twenty percent of America’s uranium to Russian interests. This deal, which on the face seems contrary to national interest, is examined by focusing on the beneficiaries and following the money. http://www.LibertyPen.com (Excerpts are largely from Fox News, since other networks find it their interest to ignore the story)

FBI Informant in Clinton Uranium One Bribery Case has Video of Briefcases full of Money!

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Investigation OPENED Into Obama and Hillary’s Crooked Deal!

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Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC) DESTROYS Hillary Clinton and Dems on Uranium One Scandal

[youtube3=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q7v1fs-T7KE]

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List of countries by uranium production

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

This is a list of countries by uranium production in 2015.

Rank Country/Region Uranium production (2015)
(tonnes U)[1]
Uranium Production (2011)
(thousands pounds U3O8)[2]
Percentage of
World Production (2015)
 World 60,496 139,513 100
1 Kazakhstan Kazakhstan 23,800 46,284 39.3
2 Canada Canada 13,325 25,434 22.0
3 Australia Australia 5,654 15,339 9.3
4 Niger Niger 4,116 10,914 6.8
5 Russia Russia 3,055 1,516 5.0
6 Namibia Namibia 2,993 11,689 4.9
7 Uzbekistan Uzbekistan 2,385[3] 6,239 3.9
8 China China 1,616[3] 2,150 2.7
9 United States United States 1,256 4,316 2.1
10 Ukraine Ukraine 1,200[3] 2,210 2.0
11 South Africa South Africa 393 2,210 0.6
12 India India 385[3] 1,040 0.6
13 Czech Republic Czech Republic 155 660 0.3
14 Romania Romania 77[3] 200 0.1
15 Pakistan Pakistan 45[3] 117 0.1
16 Brazil Brazil 40[3] 385 0.1
17 France France 2 18 0.0

See also

References

8 Countries With the Largest Uranium Reserves

Where can North Korea get uranium? More places than you think have it — and some might actually be willing to sell this vital nuclear fuel.

Oct 18, 2017 at 6:00AM

A visualization of an atom in a pair of cupped hands.

IMAGE SOURCE: GETTY IMAGES.

If you’ve been following the news, you may think uranium is only used in nuclear bombs and nuclear power plants. But uranium has lots of other uses. Unfortunately, the Fukushima nuclear reactor meltdown in Japan and North Korea’s (and Iran’s) continued push for nuclear weapons show the volatile and dangerous nature of this vital element. What’s even more frightening that uranium’s destructive potential is the fact that several of the countries with the largest uranium reserves could conceivably sell some to North Korea and Iran.

Check out this list of the countries with the world’s top uranium reserves.

The Ranger uranium mine in Australia

THE RANGER URANIUM MINE IN AUSTRALIA’S NORTHERN TERRITORY. IMAGE SOURCE: GETTY IMAGES.

1. Australia

Australia possesses around 30% of the world’s known recoverable uranium reserves. This island nation is the 20th-largest economy in the world and has stable legal and political systems; you might say it’s one of the “nice guys.”

The stability of Australia makes it a great place for miners to operate. For example, globally diversified giants Rio Tinto plc(NYSE:RIO) and BHP Billiton Limited(NYSE:BHP) both have uranium mines in the country. BHP’s Olympic Dam, its only uranium asset, is the largest known uranium orebody in the world. Rio, meanwhile, has an investment in the Ranger Mine.

The nuclear fuel is such a small contributor to BHP’s business that the company doesn’t even report that segment’s results independently. And at Rio, uranium made up just 1.3% of 2016 revenue and 0.4% of EBITDA. That said, Rio’s and BHP’s uranium mines are the most important in Australia, so the companies play a significant role in the global uranium market. The same is true of Australia, which is better known for commodities like iron ore and coal.

A map with Kazakhstan highlighted with a magnifying glass

IMAGE SOURCE: GETTY IMAGES.

2. Kazakhstan

Kazakhstan is the 42nd-largest economy in the world and the largest former Soviet Republic by area (excluding Russia). Kazakhstan is resource-rich, which helps to explain why its economy is so much larger than those of other Central Asian nations, and 22% of its exports go to neighboring China and Russia. The country also struggles with corruption and a weak banking system.

Kazakhstan contains about 13% of the world’s recoverable uranium, with 50 known deposits and around 20 operating uranium mines, so it’s a key player in the uranium market. Kazatomprom, a state-owned entity, controls the uranium industry in the country through its own subsidiaries or via joint ventures with foreign companies. One such partner is Cameco Corp(NYSE:CCJ), the world’s largest pure-play, publicly traded uranium miner. Cameco’s Inkai mine investment is just one of many uranium assets in the miner’s portfolio, which spans mining, processing, and brokering.

A man in Russian military uniform looking through binoculars

IMAGE SOURCE: GETTY IMAGES.

3. Russia

The third-largest player in the global uranium market is Russia, with about 9% of the world’s uranium (it’s actually tied with No. 4, Canada). Russia’s economy is the seventh-largest in the world, and the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency describes the country as a “centralized authoritarian state … in which the regime seeks to legitimize its rule through managed elections, populist appeals, a foreign policy focused on enhancing the country’s geopolitical influence, and commodity-based economic growth.” It’s easy to see why Russia’s enormous uranium reserves make many world leaders nervous.

Russia is largely seen as supporting countries like North Korea and Iran, either overtly or through political means, e.g., using its veto power on the United Nations Security Council. It has often teamed up with China, which will make a brief appearance later on this list, to soften the world’s response to North Korean and Iranian nuclear provocations. State-controlled AtomRedMetZoloto handles all of Russia’s uranium mining and exploration activity.

Canadian flag flying with a large building in the distance

IMAGE SOURCE: GETTY IMAGES.

4. Canada

Canada also accounts for around 9% of the world’s recoverable uranium. The United States’ northern neighbor, like Australia, is generally considered a positive force in the world. Its economy is the 18th-largest in the world. Throughout much of its history Canada has benefited from its proximity to the U.S., which is the end market for more than three-quarters of Canada’s exports.

Cameco, which hails from Canada, is the most notable uranium miner in the country. It has a number of investments, but Cigar Lake and McArthur River are two of the largest uranium mines in Canada and the world.

There is vast potential for further uranium development in Canada. For example, Cameco and Denison Mines Corp(NYSEMKT:DNN) are partners in the Wheeler River project. This mine, which isn’t expected to start production until 2025, has the potential to be one of the five largest uranium-producing mines in the world.

aerial photo of Cape Town South Africa

CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA. IMAGE SOURCE: GETTY IMAGES.

5. South Africa

From here the list of uranium-rich countries gets a little subjective, because the numbers are fairly close.According to some sources, South Africa has around 6% of the world’s developable uranium reserves. Other sources peg its reserves at just lower than the next two countries on the list, Niger and Namibia. Either way, it’s in the neighborhood of No. 5 by uranium reserves, and it’s a big step down from the top four countries on the list.

South Africa’s economy ranks at No. 31 globally. It has long struggled with unemployment, poverty, and inequality. The government, meanwhile, has not been a particularly stable influence. When it comes to mining, the country is better known for platinum, gold, and chromium than for uranium. For example, gold miner AngloGold Ashanti Limited(NYSE:AU) produces uranium in South Africa, but only as a byproduct of its other mining efforts.

South Africa has two nuclear power plants, and there are plans to build a couple more, so there is a potentially growing market for nuclear fuel in the country. Although South Africa will probably never be a major force in the global uranium market, it could be an interesting region to watch — especially if those new nuclear facilities get built.

Niger flag waving in the wind

IMAGE SOURCE: GETTY IMAGES.

6. Niger

Niger has about 5% of the world’s known developable uranium reserves. The country has two major mines and hits above its weight class, supplying roughly 7.5% of the world’s uranium. France’s Areva SA(NASDAQOTH:ARVCF) is a major player in the country, and its Arlit mine is one of the 10 highest-producing uranium mines in the world. Areva has another project in the country that’s currently on hold due to low uranium prices.

Niger’s is not a large economy, ranking at just 146 globally. Interestingly, uranium is Niger’s largest export. According to Areva, uranium represents around 5% of the country’s gross domestic product and supplies around 5% of its tax revenues. Niger, however, is a very poor nation and must rely on outside investment for the development of its resources. That’s where Areva comes in, though it’s worth noting here that China is also involved in developing Niger’s uranium assets to a smaller extent.

sand dunes in Namibia's Naukluft National Park

IMAGE SOURCE: GETTY IMAGES.

7. Namibia

Next up is Namibia, which also has roughly 5% of the world’s developable uranium resources. Namibia is only slightly larger than Niger, with its economy weighing in at No. 136 worldwide. Its economy, while poor, is more diversified than Niger’s: The country exports more diamonds, copper, gold, zinc, than it does uranium. Natural resources are highly important to the nation’s economic well-being. Overall, mining accounts for about 11.5% of the country’s gross domestic product and provides over half of the country’s foreign exchange earnings.

China is a big player in the country, and China’s investment there could materially change the face of the uranium market inside and outside Namibia. The CIA expects the Chinese-owned Husab mine to make Namibia the No. 2 uranium producer worldwide. India is also working toward a uranium relationship with the country. Australian-British miner Rio Tinto has a major stake in one of the country’s other two major mines as well. Namibia is a country to watch closely as competing forces look to take advantage of its uranium wealth.

Two athletes holding the Chinese flag between them

IMAGE SOURCE: GETTY IMAGES.

8. China

China has around 5% of the world’s developable uranium supplies and ranks as the globe’s largest economy based on gross domestic product. Some sources place its uranium reserves a little higher than countries like Namibia and Niger, while others rank them a little lower.

The centrally controlled country is a major nuclear power, with 20 nuclear power plants currently under construction (not to mention the ability to produce its own nuclear weapons). As you can see from its investment in Namibia, it is reaching out beyond its borders to ensure it has access to the uranium it needs for its internal use. And because of its size, it has the resources to continue investing to boost its position in the uranium industry.

Perhaps more concerning, China and its neighbor with nuclear ambitions, North Korea, have long been trading partners. China has attempted to protect the autocratic state politically, often allying with Russia in the effort. So while China is nowhere near the top of this list when it comes to uranium reserves, it is already playing an important role globally in mining for uranium and deciding how it gets used. China should probably be higher up on your list of concerns than any of the African nations that have equal or larger uranium reserves, and perhaps even higher than uranium giant Australia.

Tensions are running high

Uranium is a potentially life-altering power source when used conscientiously and carefully. It can provide reliable baseload power without the use of dirty carbon fuels. However, it can also be used to create weapons of mass destruction, which is why most countries around the world would prefer to keep it out of the hands of players like Iran and North Korea.

As you can see from this list, many of the largest uranium reserves are in countries that are democratic, relatively stable, and all-around good geopolitical forces. But some are too corrupt, unstable, or financially weak to fall into that category. If you are interested in the way uranium is getting used around the world, you should be keeping a close eye on at least a few of the countries that made this list.

https://www.fool.com/investing/2017/10/18/8-countries-with-the-largest-uranium-reserves.aspx

Supply of Uranium

(Updated December 2016)

  • Uranium is a relatively common metal, found in rocks and seawater. Economic concentrations of it are not uncommon.
  • Its availability to supply world energy needs is great both geologically and because of the technology for its use.
  • Quantities of mineral resources are greater than commonly perceived.
  • The world’s known uranium resources increased by at least one-quarter in the last decade due to increased mineral exploration.

Uranium is a relatively common element in the crust of the Earth (very much more than in the mantle). It is a metal approximately as common as tin or zinc, and it is a constituent of most rocks and even of the sea. Some typical concentrations are: (ppm = parts per million).

Very high-grade ore (Canada) – 20% U 200,000 ppm U
High-grade ore – 2% U, 20,000 ppm U
Low-grade ore – 0.1% U, 1,000 ppm U
Very low-grade ore* (Namibia) – 0.01% U 100 ppm U
Granite 3-5 ppm U
Sedimentary rock 2-3 ppm U
Earth’s continental crust (av) 2.8 ppm U
Seawater 0.003 ppm U

* Where uranium is at low levels in rock or sands (certainly less than 1000 ppm) it needs to be in a form which is easily separated for those concentrations to be called ‘ore’ – that is, implying that the uranium can be recovered economically. This means that it needs to be in a mineral form that can easily be dissolved by sulfuric acid or sodium carbonate leaching.

An orebody is, by definition, an occurrence of mineralisation from which the metal is economically recoverable. It is therefore relative to both costs of extraction and market prices. At present neither the oceans nor any granites are orebodies, but conceivably either could become so if prices were to rise sufficiently.

Measured resources of uranium, the amount known to be economically recoverable from orebodies, are thus also relative to costs and prices. They are also dependent on the intensity of past exploration effort, and are basically a statement about what is known rather than what is there in the Earth’s crust – epistemology rather than geology. See section below for mineral resource and reserve categories.

Changes in costs or prices, or further exploration, may alter measured resource figures markedly. At ten times the current price*, seawater might become a potential source of vast amounts of uranium. Thus, any predictions of the future availability of any mineral, including uranium, which are based on current cost and price data and current geological knowledge are likely to be extremely conservative.

* US DOE-funded work using polymer absorbent strips suggest $610/kgU in 2014. Japanese (JAERI) research in 2002 using a polymeric absorbent in a nonwoven fabric containing an amidoxime group that was capable of forming a complex with uranyl tricarbonate ions, suggested about $300/kgU.

From time to time concerns are raised that the known resources might be insufficient when judged as a multiple of present rate of use. But this is the Limits to Growth fallacy, a major intellectual blunder recycled from the 1970s, which takes no account of the very limited nature of the knowledge we have at any time of what is actually in the Earth’s crust. Our knowledge of geology is such that we can be confident that identified resources of metal minerals are a small fraction of what is there. Factors affecting the supply of resources are discussed further and illustrated in the Appendix.

Uranium availability

With those major qualifications the following Table gives some idea of our present knowledge of uranium resources. It can be seen that Australia has a substantial part (about 29%) of the world’s uranium, Kazakhstan 13%, Russia and Canada 9% each.

Known Recoverable Resources of Uranium 2015

tonnes U percentage of world
Australia
1,664,100
29%
Kazakhstan
745,300
13%
Canada
509,000
9%
Russian Fed
507,800
9%
South Africa
322,400
6%
Niger
291,500
5%
Brazil
276,800
5%
China
272,500
5%
Namibia
267,000
5%
Mongolia
141,500
2%
Uzbekistan
130,100
2%
Ukraine
115,800
2%
Botswana
73,500
1%
USA
62,900
1%
Tanzania
58,100
1%
Jordan
47,700
1%
Other
232,400
4%
World total
5,718,400

Reasonably Assured Resources plus Inferred Resources (recoverable), to US$ 130/kg U, 1/1/15, from OECD NEA & IAEA, Uranium 2016: Resources, Production and Demand (‘Red Book’). The total to US$ 260/kg U is 7.641 million tonnes U.
Reasonably Assured Resources of Uranium in 2009 stacked column graph

Current usage is about 63,000 tU/yr. Thus the world’s present measured resources of uranium (5.7 Mt) in the cost category less than three times present spot prices and used only in conventional reactors, are enough to last for about 90 years. This represents a higher level of assured resources than is normal for most minerals. Further exploration and higher prices will certainly, on the basis of present geological knowledge, yield further resources as present ones are used up.

An initial uranium exploration cycle was military-driven, over 1945 to 1958. The second cycle was about 1974 to 1983, driven by civil nuclear power and in the context of a perception that uranium might be scarce. There was relatively little uranium exploration between 1985 and 2003, so the significant increase in exploration effort since then could conceivably double the known economic resources despite adjustments due to increasing costs. In the two years 2005-06 the world’s known uranium resources tabulated above and graphed below increased by 15% (17% in the cost category to $80/kgU). World uranium exploration expenditure is increasing, as the the accompanying graph makes clear. In the third uranium exploration cycle from 2004 to the end of 2013 about US$ 16 billion was spent on uranium exploration and deposit delineation on over 600 projects. In this period over 400 new junior companies were formed or changed their orientation to raise over US$ 2 billion for uranium exploration. Much of this was spent on previously-known deposits. All this was in response to increased uranium price in the market and the prospect of firm future prices.

The price of a mineral commodity also directly determines the amount of known resources which are economically extractable. On the basis of analogies with other metal minerals, a doubling of price from present levels could be expected to create about a tenfold increase in measured economic resources, over time, due both to increased exploration and the reclassification of resources regarding what is economically recoverable.

This is in fact suggested in the IAEA-NEA figures if those covering estimates of all conventional resources (U as main product or major by-product) are considered – another 7.3 to 8.4 million tonnes (beyond the 5.9 Mt known economic resources), which takes us past 200 years’ supply at today’s rate of consumption. This still ignores the technological factor mentioned below. It also omits unconventional resources (U recoverable as minor by-product) such as phosphate/ phosphorite deposits (up to 22 Mt U), black shales (schists – 5.2 Mt U) and lignite (0.7 Mt U), and even seawater (up to 4000 Mt), which would be uneconomic to extract in the foreseeable future, although Japanese trials using a polymer braid have suggested costs a bit over $600/kgU. US work has developed this using polyethylene fibres coated with amidoxime, which binds uranium so that it can be stripped with acid. Research proceeds.

Known Uranium Resources and Exploration Expenditure area graph

It is clear from this Figure that known uranium resources have increased almost threefold since 1975, in line with expenditure on uranium exploration. (The decrease in the decade 1983-93 is due to some countries tightening their criteria for reporting. If this were carried back two decades, the lines would fit even more closely. Since 2007 some resources have been reclassified into higher-cost categories.) Increased exploration expenditure in the future is likely to result in a corresponding increase in known resources, even as inflation increases costs of recovery and hence tends to decrease the figures in each cost category.

About 20% of US uranium came from central Florida’s phosphate deposits to the mid 1990s, as a by-product, but it then became uneconomic. With higher uranium prices today the resource is being examined again, as is another lower-grade one in Morocco. Plans for Florida extend only to 400 tU/yr at this stage. See also companion paper on Uranium from Phosphate Deposits.

Coal ash is another easily-accessible though minor uranium resource in many parts of the world. In the 1960s and 1970s, some 1100 tU was recovered from coal ash in the USA. In central Yunnan province in China the coal uranium content varies up to 315 ppm and averages about 65 ppm. The ash averages about 210 ppm U (0.021%U) – above the cut-off level for some uranium mines. The Xiaolongtang power station ash heap contains over 1000 tU, with annual arisings of 190 tU. Recovery of this by acid leaching is about 70% in trials. This project has yet to announce any commercial production, however. Economic feasibility depends not only on grade but the composition of the ash – high acid consumption can make recovery uneconomic. World potential is likely to be less than 700 tU per year.

Widespread use of the fast breeder reactor could increase the utilisation of uranium 50-fold or more. This type of reactor can be started up on plutonium derived from conventional reactors and operated in closed circuit with its reprocessing plant. Such a reactor, supplied with natural or depleted uranium as a fuel source (NB not actual fuel), can be operated so that each tonne of ore yields vastly more energy than in a conventional reactor.

See also WNA position paper.

Reactor fuel requirements

The world’s power reactors, with combined capacity of some 375 GWe, require about 68,000 tonnes of uranium from mines or elsewhere each year. While this capacity is being run more productively, with higher capacity factors and reactor power levels, the uranium fuel requirement is increasing, but not necessarily at the same rate. The factors increasing fuel demand are offset by a trend for higher burn-up of fuel and other efficiencies, so demand is steady. (Over the years 1980 to 2008 the electricity generated by nuclear power increased 3.6-fold while uranium used increased by a factor of only 2.5.)

Reducing the tails assay in enrichment reduces the amount of natural uranium required for a given amount of fuel. Reprocessing of used fuel from conventional light water reactors also utilises present resources more efficiently, by a factor of about 1.3 overall.

The 2014 Red Book said that efficiencies on power plant operation and lower enrichment tails assays meant that uranium demand per unit capacity was falling, and the report’s generic reactor fuel consumption was reduced from 175 tU per GWe per year at 0.30% tails assay (2011 report) to 160 tU per GWe per year at 0.25% tails assay (2016 report). The corresponding U3O8 figures are 206 tonnes and 189 tonnes. Note that these figures are generalisations across the industry and across many different reactor types.

Today’s reactor fuel requirements are met from primary supply (direct mine output – 78% in 2009) and secondary sources: commercial stockpiles, nuclear weapons stockpiles, recycled plutonium and uranium from reprocessing used fuel, and some from re-enrichment of depleted uranium tails (left over from original enrichment). These various secondary sources make uranium unique among energy minerals.

Nuclear weapons as a source of fuel

An important source of nuclear fuel is the world’s nuclear weapons stockpiles. Since 1987 the United States and countries of the former USSR have signed a series of disarmament treaties to reduce the nuclear arsenals of the signatory countries by approximately 80 percent.

The weapons contained a great deal of uranium enriched to over 90 percent U-235 (i.e. up to 25 times the proportion in reactor fuel). Some weapons have plutonium-239, which can be used in mixed-oxide (MOX) fuel for civil reactors. From 2000 the dilution of 30 tonnes of military high-enriched uranium has been displacing about 10,600 tonnes of uranium oxide per year from mines, which represents about 15% of the world’s reactor requirements.

Details of the utilisation of military stockpiles are in the paper Military warheads as a source of nuclear fuel.

Other secondary sources of uranium

The most obvious source is civil stockpiles held by utilities and governments. The amount held here is difficult to quantify, due to commercial confidentiality. At the end of 2014 some 217,000 tU total inventory was estimated for utilities – USA 45,000 t, EU 53,000 t, China 74,000 t, other East Asia 45,0000 t (World Nuclear Association 2015 Nuclear Fuel Report). These reserves are expected to be drawn down somewhat, but they will be maintained at a fairly high level to to provide energy security for utilities and governments.

Recycled uranium and plutonium is another source, and currently saves 1700-2000 tU per year of primary supply, depending on whether just the plutonium or also the uranium is considered. This is expected to rise to 3000-4000 tU/yr by 2020. In fact, plutonium is quickly recycled as MOX fuel, whereas the reprocessed uranium (RepU) is mostly stockpiled, and the inventory at the end of 2014 was estimated at 75,000 tU. See also Processing of Used Nuclear Fuel for Recycle paper.

Re-enrichment of depleted uranium (DU, enrichment tails) is another secondary source. There is about 1.3 million tonnes of depleted uranium available, from both military and civil enrichment activity since the 1940s, most at tails assay of 0.25-0.35% U-235 (though the USA has 114,000 tU assaying 0.34% or more). Non-nuclear uses of DU are very minor relative to annual arisings of over 40,000 tU per year. This leaves most DU available for mixing with recycled plutonium on MOX fuel or as a future fuel resource for fast neutron reactors. However, some that has relatively high assay can be fed through under-utilised enrichment plants to produce natural uranium equivalent, or even enriched uranium ready for fuel fabrication. Russian enrichment plants have treated 10-15,000 tonnes per year of DU assaying over 0.3% U-235, stripping it down to 0.1% and producing a few thousand tonnes per year of natural uranium equivalent. This Russian program treating Western tails has now finished, but a new US one is expected to start when surplus capacity is available, treating about 140,000 tonnes of old DU assaying 0.4% U-235.

Underfeeding at enrichment plants is a significant source of secondary supply, especially since the Fukushima accident reduced enrichment demand for several years. This is where the operational tails assay is lower than the contracted/transactional assay, and the enricher sets aside some surplus natural uranium, which it is free to sell (either as natural uranium or as enriched uranium product) on its own account. UxC estimates that with an optimum tails assay of 0.23% in 2013, the enrichers have the potential to contribute up to 7700 tU per year to world markets by underfeeding. The 2015 edition of the World Nuclear Association’s Nuclear Fuel Report estimates 5000 to 8000 tU/yr from this source to the mid-2020s.

International fuel reserves

There have been three major initiatives to set up international reserves of enriched fuel, two of them multilateral ones, with fuel to be available under International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) auspices despite any political interruptions which might affect countries needing them. The third is under US auspices, and also to meet needs arising from supply disruptions.

Russian LEU reserve

In November 2009 the IAEA Board approved a Russian proposal to create an international “fuel bank” or guaranteed reserve of low-enriched uranium under IAEA control at the International Uranium Enrichment Centre (IUEC) at Angarsk. This Russian LEU reserve was established a year later and comprises 123 tonnes of low-enriched uranium as UF6, enriched 2.0-4.95% U-235 (with 40t of latter), available to any IAEA member state in good standing which is unable to procure fuel for political reasons. It is fully funded by Russia, held under safeguards, and the fuel will be made available to IAEA at market rates, using a formula based on spot prices. Following an IAEA decision to allocate some of it, Rosatom will transport material to St Petersburg and transfer title to IAEA, which will then transfer ownership to the recipient. The 120 tonnes uranium as UF6 is equivalent to two full fuel loads for a typical 1000 MWe reactor, and is (in 2011) worth some US$ 250 million.

IAEA LEU bank

In December 2010 the IAEA board resolved to establish a similar guaranteed reserve of low-enriched uranium, the IAEA LEU Bank*. It will comprise a physical stock of UF6 owned by the IAEA, which shall “be responsible for storing and protecting” it. According to international norms, such a ‘fuel bank’ must be located in a country with no nuclear weapons and be fully open to IAEA inspectors. The fuel bank will be a potential supply of 90 tonnes LEU (as UF6) for the production of fuel assemblies for nuclear power plants. The Kazakh government in April 2015 approved a draft agreement with the IAEA for thisIn June 2015 the IAEA board approved plans for the IAEA LEU Bank to be located at the Ulba Metallurgical Plant (UMP) at Ust-Kamenogorsk (aka Oskemen) and operated by Kazakhstan. A formal agreement with Kazakhstan to establish the legal framework was signed in August. A transit agreement with Russia for shipping LEU was also approved. An agreement between the IAEA and UMP was signed in May 2016. UMP expects to receive the necessary approvals from the relevant authorities, and have the facility built and ready for operation by September 2017.

*  ‘LEU IAEA’ is defined as LEU owned by the IAEA in the form of uranium hexafluoride (UF6) with a nominal enrichment of U-235 to 4.95%. It comprises up to 60 full containers of the 30B type or later versions. Type 30B cylinders each hold 2.27 t UF6 (1.54 tU), hence about 92 tU. The IAEA bears the costs of the purchase and delivery (import-export) of LEU, the purchase of equipment and its operation, technical resources and other goods and services required. Kazakhstan will meet the costs of LEU storage, including payment of electricity, heating, office space and staff costs. The agreement allows for the possible transfer of the LEU fuel bank to another site from the Ulba Metallurgical Plant, and it has a ten-year duration with automatic renewal at the end of this period.

The IAEA LEU Bank is fully funded by voluntary contributions including $50 million from the US-based Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI) organization, $49 million from the USA, up to $25 million from the European Union, $10 million each from Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates, and $5 million from Norway. (See IAEA Factsheet).

American assured fuel supply

In 2005 the US government announced plans for the establishment of a mechanism to ensure fuel supply for use in commercial reactors in foreign countries where there has been supply disruption. The fuel would come from downblending 17.4 tonnes of high-enriched uranium (HEU). In August 2011 US Department of Energy announced an expanded scope for the program so it would also serve US utility needs, and now be called the American Assured Fuel Supply (AFS). At that point most of the downblending of the HEU had been completed, and the scheme was ready to operate. The AFS will comprise about 230 tonnes of low-enriched uranium (with another 60t from downblending being sold on the market to pay for the work). The AFS program is administered by the US National Nuclear Safety Administration, foreign access must be through a US entity, and the fuel will be sold at current market prices. The 230 t amount is equivalent to about six reloads for a 1000 MWe reactor.

Mineral resources and reserves

The following are internationally-recognised categories based on Australia’s JORC code, which the Canadian NI 43-101 code follows.

A ‘mineral resource’ is a known concentration of minerals in the Earth’s crust with reasonable prospects for eventual economic extraction. Mineral resources are sub-divided, in order of increasing geological confidence, into inferred, indicated and measured categories.

  • An ‘inferred’ mineral resource is that part of a mineral resource for which tonnage, grade and mineral content can be estimated with only a low level of confidence. The information on which it is based is limited, or of uncertain quality and reliability.
  • An ‘indicated’ mineral resource is that part of a mineral resource for which tonnage, grade and mineral content can be estimated with a reasonable level of confidence. It is based on exploration, sampling and testing information which is adequate to assume but not confirm geological and/or grade continuity.
  • A ‘measured’ mineral resource is that part of a mineral resource for which tonnage, physical characteristics, grade and mineral content can be estimated with a high level of confidence. It is based on detailed and reliable exploration, sampling and testing information with locations spaced closely enough to confirm geological and grade continuity.

A ‘mineral’ reserve (or ore reserve) is the economically mineable part of a measured and/or indicated mineral resource. It allows for dilution and losses which may occur when the material is mined. Appropriate assessments and studies will have been carried out, and include consideration of realistically assumed mining, metallurgical, economic, marketing, legal, environmental, social and governmental factors. Mineral or ore reserves are sub-divided in order of increasing confidence into probable mineral/ore reserves and proved mineral/ore reserves.

  • A ‘probable’ mineral reserve (or probable ore reserve) is the economically mineable part of an indicated mineral resource. Studies to at least pre-feasibility level will have been carried out, demonstrating that extraction could reasonably be justified.
  • A ‘proved’ mineral reserve (or proved ore reserve) is the economically mineable part of a measured mineral resource. Studies to at least pre-feasibility level will have been carried out, demonstrating that extraction is justified.

Thorium as a nuclear fuel

Today uranium is the only fuel supplied for nuclear reactors. However, thorium can also be utilised as a fuel for CANDU reactors or in reactors specially designed for this purpose. Neutron efficient reactors, such as CANDU, are capable of operating on a thorium fuel cycle, once they are started using a fissile material such as U-235 or Pu-239. Then the thorium (Th-232) atom captures a neutron in the reactor to become fissile uranium (U-233), which continues the reaction. Some advanced reactor designs are likely to be able to make use of thorium on a substantial scale.

The thorium fuel cycle has some attractive features, though it is not yet in commercial use. Thorium is reported to be about three times as abundant in the earth’s crust as uranium. The 2009 IAEA-NEA Red Book lists 3.6 million tonnes of known and estimated resources as reported, but points out that this excludes data from much of the world, and estimates about 6 million tonnes overall. See also companion paper on Thorium.

Main references

OECD NEA & IAEA, 2014, Uranium 2014: Resources, Production and Demand
WNA 2013, The Global Nuclear Fuel Market – Supply and Demand 2013-2030
UN Institute for Disarmament Research, Yury Yudin (ed) 2011, Multilateralization of the Nuclear Fuel Cycle – The First Practical Steps
Monnet, A, CEA, Uranium from Coal Ash: Resource assessment and outlook, IAEA URAM 2014


Appendix 1 —- (Sept 2005)

Substantially derived from 2003 WNA Symposium paper by Colin MacDonald, Uranium: Sustainable Resource or Limit to Growth? – supplemented by his 2005 WNA Symposium paper and including a model Economic adjustments in the supply of a ‘non-renewable’ resource from Ian Hore-Lacy.

The Sustainability of Mineral Resources

with reference to uranium

It is commonly asserted that because “the resources of the earth are finite”, therefore we must face some day of reckoning, and will need to plan for “negative growth”. All this, it is pointed out, is because these resources are being consumed at an increasing rate to support our western lifestyle and to cater for the increasing demands of developing nations. The assertion that we are likely to run out of resources is a re-run of the “Limits to Growth” argument (Club of Rome 1972 popularised by Meadows et al in Limits of Growth at that time. (A useful counter to it is W Berckerman, In Defence of Economic Growth, also Singer, M, Passage to a Human World, Hudson Inst. 1987). In the decade following its publication world bauxite reserves increased 35%, copper 25%, nickel 25%, uranium and coal doubled, gas increased 70% and even oil increased 6%.) fashionable in the early 1970s, which was substantially disowned by its originators, the Club of Rome, and shown up as nonsense with the passing of time. It also echoes similar concerns raised by economists in the 1930s, and by Malthus at the end of the 18th Century.

In recent years there has been persistent misunderstanding and misrepresentation of the abundance of mineral resources, with the assertion that the world is in danger of actually running out of many mineral resources. While congenial to common sense if the scale of the Earth’s crust is ignored, it lacks empirical support in the trend of practically all mineral commodity prices and published resource figures over the long term. In recent years some have promoted the view that limited supplies of natural uranium are the Achilles heel of nuclear power as the sector contemplates a larger contribution to future clean energy, notwithstanding the small amount of it required to provide very large amounts of energy.

Uranium supply news is usually framed within a short-term perspective. It concerns who is producing with what resources, who might produce or sell, and how does this balance with demand? However, long-term supply analysis enters the realm of resource economics. This discipline has as a central concern the understanding of not just supply/demand/price dynamics for known resources, but also the mechanisms for replacing resources with new ones presently unknown. Such a focus on sustainability of supply is unique to the long view. Normally-functioning metals markets and technology change provide the drivers to ensure that supply at costs affordable to consumers is continuously replenished, both through the discovery of new resources and the re-definition (in economic terms) of known ones.

Of course the resources of the earth are indeed finite, but three observations need to be made: first, the limits of the supply of resources are so far away that the truism has no practical meaning. Second, many of the resources concerned are either renewable or recyclable (energy minerals and zinc are the main exceptions, though the recycling potential of many materials is limited in practice by the energy and other costs involved). Third, available reserves of ‘non-renewable’ resources are constantly being renewed, mostly faster than they are used.

There are three principal areas where resource predictions have faltered:

  • predictions have not accounted for gains in geological knowledge and understanding of mineral deposits;
  • they have not accounted for technologies utilised to discover, process and use them;
  • economic principles have not been taken into account, which means that resources are thought of only in present terms, not in terms of what will be economic through time, nor with concepts of substitution in mind.

What then does sustainability in relation to mineral resources mean? The answer lies in the interaction of these three things which enable usable resources (Some licence is taken in the use of this word in the following, strictly it is reserves of minerals which are created) effectively to be created. They are brought together in the diagram below.
Economic Adjustments in Supply of a 'Non-renewable' Resource flow diagram
Economic Adjustments in Uranium Supply and Use flow diagram
Numerous economists have studied resource trends to determine which measures should best reflect resource scarcity (Tilton, J. On Borrowed Time? Assessing the threat of mineral depletion, Resources for the Future, Washington DC 2002). Their consensus view is that costs and prices, properly adjusted for inflation, provide a better early warning system for long-run resource scarcity than do physical measures such as resource quantities.

Historic data show that the most commonly used metals have declined in both their costs and real commodity prices over the past century. Such price trends are the most telling evidence of lack of scarcity. Uranium has been a case in point, relative to its late 1970s price of US$ 40/lb U3O8.

An anecdote underlines this basic truth: In 1980 two eminent professors, fierce critics of one another, made a bet regarding the real market price of five metal commodities over the next decade. Paul Ehrlich, a world-famous ecologist, bet that because the world was exceeding its carrying capacity, food and commodities would start to run out in the 1980s and prices in real terms would therefore rise. Julian Simon, an economist, said that resources were effectively so abundant, and becoming effectively more so, that prices would fall in real terms. He invited Ehrlich to nominate which commodities would be used to test the matter, and they settled on these (chrome, copper, nickel, tin and tungsten). In 1990 Ehrlich paid up – all the prices had fallen.

However, quantities of known resources tell a similar and consistent story. To cite one example, world copper reserves in the 1970s represented only 30 years of then-current production (6.4 Mt/yr). Many analysts questioned whether this resource base could satisfy the large expected requirements of the telecommunications industry by 2000. But by 1994, world production of copper had doubled (12 Mt/yr) and the available reserves were still enough for another 30 years. The reserve multiple of current production remained the same.
Metal Prices line graph

Another way to understand resource sustainability is in terms of economics and capital conservation. Under this perspective, mineral resources are not so much rare or scarce as they are simply too expensive to discover if you cannot realise the profits from your discovery fairly soon. Simple economic considerations therefore discourage companies from discovering much more than society needs through messages of reduced commodity prices during times of oversupply. Economically rational players will only invest in finding these new reserves when they are most confident of gaining a return from them, which usually requires positive price messages caused by undersupply trends. If the economic system is working correctly and maximizing capital efficiency, there should never be more than a few decades of any resource commodity in reserves at any point in time.
Resource Levels graphic

The fact that many commodities have more resources available than efficient economic theory might suggest may be partly explained by two characteristics of mineral exploration cycles. First, the exploration sector tends to over-respond to the positive price signals through rapid increases in worldwide expenditures (which increases the rate of discoveries), in particular through the important role of more speculatively-funded junior exploration companies. Exploration also tends to make discoveries in clusters that have more to do with new geological knowledge than with efficient capital allocation theory. As an example, once diamonds were known to exist in northern Canada, the small exploration boom that accompanied this resulted in several large discoveries – more than the market may have demanded at this time. These patterns are part of the dynamics that lead to commodity price cycles. New resource discoveries are very difficult to precisely match with far-off future demand, and the historic evidence suggests that the exploration process over-compensates for every small hint of scarcity that the markets provide.

Another important element in resource economics is the possibility of substitution of commodities. Many commodity uses are not exclusive – should they become too expensive they can be substituted with other materials. Even if they become cheaper they may be replaced, as technology gains have the potential to change the style and cost of material usage. For example, copper, despite being less expensive in real terms than 30 years ago, is still being replaced by fibre optics in many communication applications. These changes to materials usage and commodity demand provide yet another dimension to the simple notion of depleting resources and higher prices.

In summary, historic metals price trends, when examined in the light of social and economic change through time, demonstrate that resource scarcity is a double-edged sword. The same societal trends that have increased metals consumption, tending to increase prices, have also increased the available wealth to invest in price-reducing knowledge and technology. These insights provide the basis for the economic sustainability of metals, including uranium.

Geological knowledge

Whatever minerals are in the earth, they cannot be considered usable resources unless they are known. There must be a constant input of time, money and effort to find out what is there. This mineral exploration endeavour is not merely fossicking or doing aerial magnetic surveys, but must eventually extend to comprehensive investigation of orebodies so that they can reliably be defined in terms of location, quantity and grade. Finally, they must be technically and economically quantified as mineral reserves. That is the first aspect of creating a resource. See section in paper for mineral resource and reserve categories.

For reasons outlined above, measured resources of many minerals are increasing much faster than they are being used, due to exploration expenditure by mining companies and their investment in research. Simply on geological grounds, there is no reason to suppose that this trend will not continue. Today, proven mineral resources worldwide are more than we inherited in the 1970s, and this is especially so for uranium.

Simply put, metals which are more abundant in the Earth’s crust are more likely to occur as the economic concentrations we call mineral deposits. They also need to be reasonably extractable from their host minerals. By these measures, uranium compares very well with base and precious metals. Its average crustal abundance of 2.7 ppm is comparable with that of many other metals such as tin, tungsten, and molybdenum. Many common rocks such as granite and shales contain even higher uranium concentrations of 5 to 25 ppm. Also, uranium is predominantly bound in minerals which are not difficult to break down in processing.

As with crustal abundance, metals which occur in many different kinds of deposits are easier to replenish economically, since exploration discoveries are not constrained to only a few geological settings. Currently, at least 14 different types of uranium deposits are known, occurring in rocks of wide range of geological age and geographic distribution. There are several fundamental geological reasons why uranium deposits are not rare, but the principal reason is that uranium is relatively easy both to place into solution over geological time, and to precipitate out of solution in chemically reducing conditions. This chemical characteristic alone allows many geological settings to provide the required hosting conditions for uranium resources. Related to this diversity of settings is another supply advantage ?the wide range in the geological ages of host rocks ensures that many geopolitical regions are likely to host uranium resources of some quality.

Unlike the metals which have been in demand for centuries, society has barely begun to utilise uranium. As serious non-military demand did not materialise until significant nuclear generation was built by the late 1970s, there has been only one cycle of exploration-discovery-production, driven in large part by late 1970s price peaks (MacDonald, C, Rocks to reactors: Uranium exploration and the market. Proceedings of WNA Symposium 2001). This initial cycle has provided more than enough uranium for the last three decades and several more to come. Clearly, it is premature to speak about long-term uranium scarcity when the entire nuclear industry is so young that only one cycle of resource replenishment has been required. It is instead a reassurance that this first cycle of exploration was capable of meeting the needs of more than half a century of nuclear energy demand.

Related to the youthfulness of nuclear energy demand is the early stage that global exploration had reached before declining uranium prices stifled exploration in the mid-1980s. The significant investment in uranium exploration during the 1970-82 exploration cycle would have been fairly efficient in discovering exposed uranium deposits, due to the ease of detecting radioactivity. Still, very few prospective regions in the world have seen the kind of intensive knowledge and technology-driven exploration that the Athabasca Basin of Canada has seen since 1975. This fact has huge positive implications for future uranium discoveries, because the Athabasca Basin history suggests that the largest proportion of future resources will be as deposits discovered in the more advanced phases of exploration. Specifically, only 25% of the 635,000 tonnes of U3O8 discovered so far in the Athabasca Basin could be discovered during the first phase of surface-based exploration. A sustained second phase, based on advances in deep penetrating geophysics and geological models, was required to discover the remaining 75%.

Another dimension to the immaturity of uranium exploration is that it is by no means certain that all possible deposit types have even been identified. Any estimate of world uranium potential made only 30 years ago would have missed the entire deposit class of unconformity deposits that have driven production since then, simply because geologists did not know this class existed.

Technology

It is meaningless to speak of a resource until someone has thought of a way to use any particular material. In this sense, human ingenuity quite literally creates new resources, historically, currently and prospectively. That is the most fundamental level at which technology creates resources, by making particular minerals usable in new ways. Often these then substitute to some degree for others which are becoming scarcer, as indicated by rising prices. Uranium was not a resource in any meaningful sense before 1940.

More particularly, if a known mineral deposit cannot be mined, processed and marketed economically, it does not constitute a resource in any practical sense. Many factors determine whether a particular mineral deposit can be considered a usable resource – the scale of mining and processing, the technological expertise involved, its location in relation to markets, and so on. The application of human ingenuity, through technology, alters the significance of all these factors and is thus a second means of ‘creating’ resources. In effect, portions of the earth’s crust are reclassified as resources. A further aspect of this is at the manufacturing and consumer level, where technology can make a given amount of resources go further through more efficient use.(aluminium can mass was reduced by 21% 1972-88, and motor cars each use about 30% less steel than 30 years ago)

An excellent example of this application of technology to create resources is in the Pilbara region of Western Australia. Until the 1960s the vast iron ore deposits there were simply geological curiosities, despite their very high grade. Australia had been perceived as short of iron ore. With modern large-scale mining technology and the advent of heavy duty railways and bulk shipping which could economically get the iron ore from the mine (well inland) through the ports of Dampier and Port Hedland to Japan, these became one of the nation’s main mineral resources. For the last 45 years Hamersley Iron (Rio Tinto), Mount Newman (BHP-Billiton) and others have been at the forefront of Australia’s mineral exporters, drawing upon these ‘new’ orebodies.

Just over a hundred years ago aluminium was a precious metal, not because it was scarce, but because it was almost impossible to reduce the oxide to the metal, which was therefore fantastically expensive. With the discovery of the Hall-Heroult process in 1886, the cost of producing aluminium plummeted to about one twentieth of what it had been and that metal has steadily become more commonplace. It now competes with iron in many applications, and copper in others, as well as having its own widespread uses in every aspect of our lives. Not only was a virtually new material provided for people’s use by this technological breakthrough, but enormous quantities of bauxite world-wide progressively became a valuable resource. Without the technological breakthrough, they would have remained a geological curiosity.

Incremental improvements in processing technology at all plants are less obvious but nevertheless very significant also. Over many years they are probably as important as the historic technological breakthroughs.

To achieve sustainability, the combined effects of mineral exploration and the development of technology need to be creating resources at least as fast as they are being used. There is no question that in respect to the minerals industry this is generally so, and with uranium it is also demonstrable. Recycling also helps, though generally its effect is not great.

Economics

Whether a particular mineral deposit is sensibly available as a resource will depend on the market price of the mineral concerned. If it costs more to get it out of the ground than its value warrants, it can hardly be classified as a resource (unless there is some major market distortion due to government subsidies of some kind). Therefore, the resources available will depend on the market price, which in turn depends on world demand for the particular mineral and the costs of supplying that demand. The dynamic equilibrium between supply and demand also gives rise to substitution of other materials when scarcity looms (or the price is artificially elevated). This then is the third aspect of creating resources.

The best known example of the interaction of markets with resource availability is in the oil industry. When in 1972 OPEC suddenly increased the price of oil fourfold, several things happened at both producer and consumer levels.

The producers dramatically increased their exploration effort, and applied ways to boost oil recovery from previously ‘exhausted’ or uneconomic wells. At the consumer end, increased prices meant massive substitution of other fuels and greatly increased capital expenditure in more efficient plant. As a result of the former activities, oil resources increased dramatically. As a result of the latter, oil use fell slightly to 1975 and in the longer perspective did not increase globally from 1973 to 1986. Forecasts in 1972, which had generally predicted a doubling of oil consumption in ten years, proved quite wrong.

Oil will certainly become scarce one day, probably before most other mineral resources, which will continue to drive its price up. As in the 1970s, this will in turn cause increased substitution for oil and bring about greater efficiencies in its use as equilibrium between supply and demand is maintained by the market mechanism. Certainly oil will never run out in any absolute sense – it will simply become too expensive to use as liberally as we now do.

Another example is provided by aluminium. During World War II, Germany and Japan recovered aluminium from kaolinite, a common clay, at slightly greater cost than it could be obtained from bauxite.

Due to the operation of these three factors the world’s economically demonstrated resources of most minerals have risen faster than the increased rate of usage over the last 50 years, so that more are available now, notwithstanding liberal usage. This is largely due to the effects of mineral exploration and the fact that new discoveries have exceeded consumption.

Replacement of uranium

A characteristic of metals resource replacement is that the mineral discovery process itself adds a small cost relative to the value of the discovered metals. As an example, the huge uranium reserves of Canada’s Athabasca Basin were discovered for about US$1.00/kgU (2003 dollars, including unsuccessful exploration). Similar estimates for world uranium resources, based on published IAEA exploration expenditure data and assuming that these expenditures yielded only the past uranium produced plus the present known economic resources categories at up to US$80/kg (Uranium 2003: Resources, Production and demand. Nuclear Energy Agency and IAEA, OECD Publications 2004) yields slightly higher costs of about US$1.50/kgU. This may reflect the higher component of State-driven exploration globally, some of which had national self-sufficiency objectives that may not have aligned with industry economic standards.

From an economic perspective, these exploration costs are essentially equivalent to capital investment costs, albeit spread over a longer time period. It is, however, this time lag between the exploration expense and the start of production that confounds attempts to analyse exploration economics using strict discounted cash flow methods. The positive cash flows from production occur at least 10-15 years into the future, so that their present values are obviously greatly reduced, especially if one treats the present as the start of exploration. This creates a paradox, since large resource companies must place a real value on simply surviving and being profitable for many decades into the future; and, without exploration discoveries, all mining companies must expire with their reserves. Recent advances in the use of real options and similar methods are providing new ways to understand this apparent paradox. A key insight is that time, rather than destroying value through discounting, actually adds to the option value, as does the potential of price volatility. Under this perspective, resource companies create value by obtaining future resources which can be exploited optimally under a range of possible economic conditions. Techniques such as these are beginning to add analytical support to what have always been intuitive understandings by resource company leaders – that successful exploration creates profitable mines and adds value to company shares.

Since uranium is part of the energy sector, another way to look at exploration costs is on the basis of energy value. This allows comparisons with the energy investment cost for other energy fuels, especially fossil fuels which will have analogous costs related to the discovery of the resources. From numerous published sources, the finding costs of crude oil have averaged around US$ 6/bbl over at least the past three decades. Uranium’s finding costs make up only 2% of the recent spot price of US$ 30/lb ($78/kgU), while the oil finding costs are 12% of a recent spot price of US$ 50/bbl.

By these measures, uranium is a very inexpensive energy source to replenish, as society has accepted far higher energy replacement costs to sustain oil resources. This low basic energy resource cost is one argument in favour of a nuclear-hydrogen solution to long-term replacement of oil as a transportation fuel.

Forecasting replenishment

Supply forecasters are often reluctant to consider the additive impacts of exploration on new supply, arguing that assuming discoveries is as risky and speculative as the exploration business itself. Trying to predict any single discovery certainly is speculative. However, as long as the goal is merely to account for the estimated total discovery rate at a global level, a proxy such as estimated exploration expenditures can be used. Since expenditures correlate with discovery rate, the historic (or adjusted) resources discovered per unit of expenditure will provide a reasonable estimate of resource gains to be expected. As long as the time lag between discovery and production is accounted for, this kind of dynamic forecasting is more likely to provide a basis for both price increases and decreases, which metals markets have historically demonstrated.

Without these estimates of uranium resource replenishment through exploration cycles, long-term supply-demand analyses will tend to have a built-in pessimistic bias (i.e. towards scarcity and higher prices), that will not reflect reality. Not only will these forecasts tend to overestimate the price required to meet long-term demand, but the opponents of nuclear power use them to bolster arguments that nuclear power is unsustainable even in the short term. In a similar fashion, these finite-resources analyses also lead observers of the industry to conclude that fast breeder reactor technology will soon be required. This may indeed make a gradual appearance, but if uranium follows the price trends we see in other metals, its development will be due to strategic policy decisions more than uranium becoming too expensive.

The resource economics perspective tells us that new exploration cycles should be expected to add uranium resources to the world inventory, and to the extent that some of these may be of higher quality and involve lower operating cost than resources previously identified, this will tend to mitigate price increases. This is precisely what has happened in uranium, as the low-cost discoveries in Canada’s Athabasca Basin have displaced higher-cost production from many other regions, lowering the cost curve and contributing to lower prices. Secondary uranium supplies, to the extent that they can be considered as a very low-cost mine, have simply extended this price trend.

The first exploration and mining cycle for uranium occurred about 1970 to 1985. It provided enough uranium to meet world demand for some 80 years, if we view present known resources as arising from it. With the rise in uranium prices to September 2005 and the concomitant increase (boom?) in mineral exploration activity, it is clear that we have the start of a second such cycle, mid-2003 to ??. The price increase was brought about by diminution of secondary supplies coupled with a realization that primary supplies needed to increase substantially.

Several significant decisions on mine development and increased exploration by major producers will enable this expansion of supply, coupled with smaller producers coming on line. The plethora of junior exploration companies at the other end of the spectrum which are finding no difficulty whatever in raising capital are also a positive sign that a vigorous new exploration and mining cycle is cranking up. From lows of around US$ 55 million per year in 2000, world uranium exploration expenditure rose to about US$ 110 million in 2004 and is expected to be US$ 185 million in 2005, half of this being from the junior exploration sector. The new cycle is also showing considerable regional diversification. Measured from 1990, cycle 2 totals US$ 1.5 billion to 2005, compared with a total of about three times this figure (uncorrected) for the whole of the first cycle.

Depletion and sustainability

Conversely, the exhaustion of mineral resources during mining is real. Resource economists do not deny the fact of depletion, nor its long-term impact – that in the absence of other factors, depletion will tend to drive commodity prices up. But as we have seen, mineral commodities can become more available or less scarce over time if the cost-reducing effects of new technology and exploration are greater than the cost-increasing effects of depletion.

One development that would appear to argue against economic sustainability is the growing awareness of the global depletion of oil, and in some regions such as North America, natural gas. But oil is a fundamentally different material. This starts with geology, where key differences include the fact that oil and gas were formed by only one process: the breakdown of plant life on Earth. Compared with the immense volumes of rock-forming minerals in the Earth? crust, living organisms on top of it have always been a very tiny proportion. But a more important fact is that the world has consumed oil, and recently natural gas as well, in a trajectory of rapid growth virtually unmatched by any other commodity. Consumption growth rates of up to 10% annually over the past 50 years are much higher than we see for other commodities, and support the contention that oil is a special depletion case for several reasons: its geological occurrence is limited, it has been inexpensive to extract, its energy utility has been impossible to duplicate for the price, and its resulting depletion rates have been incredibly high.

This focus on rates of depletion suggests that one of the dimensions of economic sustainability of metals has to do with their relative rates of depletion. Specifically, it suggests that economic sustainability will hold indefinitely as long as the rate of depletion of mineral resources is slower than the rate at which it is offset. This offsetting force will be the sum of individual factors that work against depletion, and include cost-reducing technology and knowledge, lower cost resources through exploration advances, and demand shifting through substitution of materials.

An economic sustainability balance of this type also contemplates that, at some future point, the offsetting factors may not be sufficient to prevent irreversible depletion-induced price increases, and it is at this point that substituting materials and technologies must come into play to take away demand. In the case of rapid oil depletion, that substitute appears to be hydrogen as a transport fuel. Which raises the question of how the hydrogen is produced, and nuclear energy seems the most likely means of that, using high-temperature reactors.

From a detached viewpoint all this may look like mere technological optimism. But to anyone closely involved it is obvious and demonstrable. Furthermore, it is illustrated by the longer history of human use of the Earth’s mineral resources. Abundance, scarcity, substitution, increasing efficiency of use, technological breakthroughs in discovery, recovery and use, sustained incremental improvements in mineral recovery and energy efficiency – all these comprise the history of minerals and humankind.

http://www.world-nuclear.org/information-library/nuclear-fuel-cycle/uranium-resources/supply-of-uranium.aspx

7 Uranium One Facts Every American Should Know

Hillary Clinton and the Obama administration find themselves at the center of an explosive scandal involving the transfer of 20 percent of all U.S. uranium to Russia via the sale of the Uranium One company, just as nine foreign investors in the deal funneled $145 million to the Clinton Foundation to help grease the wheels.

Here are the seven facts about the Uranium One deal you need to know:

  1. Peter Schweizer Broke the Uranium One Scandal
    Government Accountability Institute (GAI) President and Breitbart News Senior Editor-at-Large Peter Schweizer broke the Uranium One scandal in his book Clinton Cash: The Untold Story of How and Why Foreign Governments and Businesses Helped Make Bill and Hillary Rich. In the book, he reported that Clinton’s State Department, along with other federal agencies, approved the transfer of 20 percent of all U.S. uranium to Russia and that nine foreign investors in the deal gave $145 million to Hillary and Bill Clinton’s personal charity, the Clinton Foundation.
  1. The New York Times Confirmed the Scandal in 2015
    The New York Times confirmed Schweizer’s Uranium One revelations in a 4,000-word front-page story by a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter. It detailed how the Russian energy giant Rosatom had taken over the Canadian firm with three separate purchases between 2009 and 2013, largely coinciding with Hillary Clinton’s time as secretary of state.
  1. The FBI Uncovered Evidence that Russian Money Was Funneled to the Clinton Foundation
    The Hill reported last week that ahead of the deal, the FBI had uncovered “substantial evidence that Russian nuclear industry officials were engaged in bribery, kickbacks, extortion and money laundering” to expand Russia’s nuclear footprint in the U.S. as early as 2009. The agency also found that Russian nuclear officials had routed millions of dollars to the U.S. to benefit the Clinton Foundation. The Justice Department would sit on the evidence for four years before looking to prosecute, by which time the deal had been approved.
  1. Congress Is Now Investigating
    The Senate Judiciary Committee has launched a probe into the scandal and has sent requests for more information to 10 federal agencies involved in the approval of the partial sale of Uranium One, asking what they knew about the FBI investigation and when.
  1. Bill Clinton Was Paid $500,000 for a Speech in Moscow
    Bill Clinton bagged a $500,000 speech in Moscow paid for by a Kremlin-backed bank shortly after Russia announced its intention to take a majority stake in the company. According to the Times, Clinton traveled to Moscow in June 2010, the same month Rosatom struck its deal for its majority stake in Uranium One.
  1. The Clinton Foundation Took Big Bucks from Uranium Investors
    According to theTimes, The Clinton Foundation received $2.35 million in donations from Ian Telfer, a mining investor who was also the chairman of Uranium One when Rosatom acquired it. It also received $31.3 million and a pledge for $100 million more from Frank Giustra, the Canadian mining financier whose company merged with Uranium One.
  1. Senate Republicans Want an FBI Gag Order Lifted
    Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA) has called for the Justice Department to lift the gag order on the FBI’s whistleblower, indicating that he may have more explosive revelations related to the case and on what the Clintons and the Obama administration knew about the case and when they knew it.

Adam Shaw is a Breitbart News politics reporter based in New York. Follow Adam on Twitter: @AdamShawNY

http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2017/10/23/7-uranium-one-facts-every-american-should-know/

A Uranium One sign that points to a 35,000-acre ranch owned by John Christensen, near the town of Gillette, Wyo. Uranium One has the mining rights to Mr. Christensen’s property. CreditMatthew Staver for The New York Times

The headline on the website Pravda trumpeted President Vladimir V. Putin’s latest coup, its nationalistic fervor recalling an era when its precursor served as the official mouthpiece of the Kremlin: “Russian Nuclear Energy Conquers the World.”

The article, in January 2013, detailed how the Russian atomic energy agency, Rosatom, had taken over a Canadian company with uranium-mining stakes stretching from Central Asia to the American West. The deal made Rosatom one of the world’s largest uranium producers and brought Mr. Putin closer to his goal of controlling much of the global uranium supply chain.

But the untold story behind that story is one that involves not just the Russian president, but also a former American president and a woman who would like to be the next one.

At the heart of the tale are several men, leaders of the Canadian mining industry, who have been major donors to the charitable endeavors of former President Bill Clinton and his family. Members of that group built, financed and eventually sold off to the Russians a company that would become known as Uranium One.

Beyond mines in Kazakhstan that are among the most lucrative in the world, the sale gave the Russians control of one-fifth of all uranium production capacity in the United States. Since uranium is considered a strategic asset, with implications for national security, the deal had to be approved by a committee composed of representatives from a number of United States government agencies. Among the agencies that eventually signed off was the State Department, then headed by Mr. Clinton’s wife, Hillary Rodham Clinton.

As the Russians gradually assumed control of Uranium One in three separate transactions from 2009 to 2013, Canadian records show, a flow of cash made its way to the Clinton Foundation. Uranium One’s chairman used his family foundation to make four donations totaling $2.35 million. Those contributions were not publicly disclosed by the Clintons, despite an agreement Mrs. Clinton had struck with the Obama White House to publicly identify all donors. Other people with ties to the company made donations as well.

And shortly after the Russians announced their intention to acquire a majority stake in Uranium One, Mr. Clinton received $500,000 for a Moscow speech from a Russian investment bank with links to the Kremlin that was promoting Uranium One stock.

Photo

Frank Giustra, right, a mining financier, has donated $31.3 million to the foundation run by former President Bill Clinton, left.CreditJoaquin Sarmiento/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

At the time, both Rosatom and the United States government made promises intended to ease concerns about ceding control of the company’s assets to the Russians. Those promises have been repeatedly broken, records show.

The New York Times’s examination of the Uranium One deal is based on dozens of interviews, as well as a review of public records and securities filings in Canada, Russia and the United States. Some of the connections between Uranium One and the Clinton Foundation were unearthed by Peter Schweizer, a former fellow at the right-leaning Hoover Institution and author of the forthcoming book “Clinton Cash.” Mr. Schweizer provided a preview of material in the book to The Times, which scrutinized his information and built upon it with its own reporting.

Whether the donations played any role in the approval of the uranium deal is unknown. But the episode underscores the special ethical challenges presented by the Clinton Foundation, headed by a former president who relied heavily on foreign cash to accumulate $250 million in assets even as his wife helped steer American foreign policy as secretary of state, presiding over decisions with the potential to benefit the foundation’s donors.

In a statement, Brian Fallon, a spokesman for Mrs. Clinton’s presidential campaign, said no one “has ever produced a shred of evidence supporting the theory that Hillary Clinton ever took action as secretary of state to support the interests of donors to the Clinton Foundation.” He emphasized that multiple United States agencies, as well as the Canadian government, had signed off on the deal and that, in general, such matters were handled at a level below the secretary. “To suggest the State Department, under then-Secretary Clinton, exerted undue influence in the U.S. government’s review of the sale of Uranium One is utterly baseless,” he added.

American political campaigns are barred from accepting foreign donations. But foreigners may give to foundations in the United States. In the days since Mrs. Clinton announced her candidacy for president, the Clinton Foundation has announced changes meant to quell longstanding concerns about potential conflicts of interest in such donations; it has limited donations from foreign governments, with many, like Russia’s, barred from giving to all but its health care initiatives. That policy stops short of a more stringent agreement between Mrs. Clinton and the Obama administration that was in effect while she was secretary of state.

Either way, the Uranium One deal highlights the limits of such prohibitions. The foundation will continue to accept contributions from foreign sources whose interests, like Uranium One’s, may overlap with those of foreign governments, some of which may be at odds with the United States.

When the Uranium One deal was approved, the geopolitical backdrop was far different from today’s. The Obama administration was seeking to “reset” strained relations with Russia. The deal was strategically important to Mr. Putin, who shortly after the Americans gave their blessing sat down for a staged interview with Rosatom’s chief executive, Sergei Kiriyenko. “Few could have imagined in the past that we would own 20 percent of U.S. reserves,” Mr. Kiriyenko told Mr. Putin.

GRAPHIC

Donations to the Clinton Foundation, and a Russian Uranium Takeover

Uranium investors gave millions to the Clinton Foundation while Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton’s office was involved in approving a Russian bid for mining assets in Kazakhstan and the United States.

 OPEN GRAPHIC

Now, after Russia’s annexation of Crimea and aggression in Ukraine, the Moscow-Washington relationship is devolving toward Cold War levels, a point several experts made in evaluating a deal so beneficial to Mr. Putin, a man known to use energy resources to project power around the world.

“Should we be concerned? Absolutely,” said Michael McFaul, who served under Mrs. Clinton as the American ambassador to Russia but said he had been unaware of the Uranium One deal until asked about it. “Do we want Putin to have a monopoly on this? Of course we don’t. We don’t want to be dependent on Putin for anything in this climate.”

A Seat at the Table

The path to a Russian acquisition of American uranium deposits began in 2005 in Kazakhstan, where the Canadian mining financier Frank Giustra orchestrated his first big uranium deal, with Mr. Clinton at his side.

The two men had flown aboard Mr. Giustra’s private jet to Almaty, Kazakhstan, where they dined with the authoritarian president, Nursultan A. Nazarbayev. Mr. Clinton handed the Kazakh president a propaganda coup when he expressed support for Mr. Nazarbayev’s bid to head an international elections monitoring group, undercutting American foreign policy and criticism of Kazakhstan’s poor human rights record by, among others, his wife, then a senator.

Within days of the visit, Mr. Giustra’s fledgling company, UrAsia Energy Ltd., signed a preliminary deal giving it stakes in three uranium mines controlled by the state-run uranium agency Kazatomprom.

If the Kazakh deal was a major victory, UrAsia did not wait long before resuming the hunt. In 2007, it merged with Uranium One, a South African company with assets in Africa and Australia, in what was described as a $3.5 billion transaction. The new company, which kept the Uranium One name, was controlled by UrAsia investors including Ian Telfer, a Canadian who became chairman. Through a spokeswoman, Mr. Giustra, whose personal stake in the deal was estimated at about $45 million, said he sold his stake in 2007.

Soon, Uranium One began to snap up companies with assets in the United States. In April 2007, it announced the purchase of a uranium mill in Utah and more than 38,000 acres of uranium exploration properties in four Western states, followed quickly by the acquisition of the Energy Metals Corporation and its uranium holdings in Wyoming, Texas and Utah. That deal made clear that Uranium One was intent on becoming “a powerhouse in the United States uranium sector with the potential to become the domestic supplier of choice for U.S. utilities,” the company declared.

Photo

Ian Telfer was chairman of Uranium One and made large donations to the Clinton Foundation.CreditGalit Rodan/Bloomberg, via Getty Images

Still, the company’s story was hardly front-page news in the United States — until early 2008, in the midst of Mrs. Clinton’s failed presidential campaign, when The Times published an article revealing the 2005 trip’s link to Mr. Giustra’s Kazakhstan mining deal. It also reported that several months later, Mr. Giustra had donated $31.3 million to Mr. Clinton’s foundation.

(In a statement issued after this article appeared online, Mr. Giustra said he was “extremely proud” of his charitable work with Mr. Clinton, and he urged the media to focus on poverty, health care and “the real challenges of the world.”)

Though the 2008 article quoted the former head of Kazatomprom, Moukhtar Dzhakishev, as saying that the deal required government approval and was discussed at a dinner with the president, Mr. Giustra insisted that it was a private transaction, with no need for Mr. Clinton’s influence with Kazakh officials. He described his relationship with Mr. Clinton as motivated solely by a shared interest in philanthropy.

As if to underscore the point, five months later Mr. Giustra held a fund-raiser for the Clinton Giustra Sustainable Growth Initiative, a project aimed at fostering progressive environmental and labor practices in the natural resources industry, to which he had pledged $100 million. The star-studded gala, at a conference center in Toronto, featured performances by Elton John and Shakira and celebrities like Tom Cruise, John Travolta and Robin Williams encouraging contributions from the many so-called F.O.F.s — Friends of Frank — in attendance, among them Mr. Telfer. In all, the evening generated $16 million in pledges, according to an article in The Globe and Mail.

“None of this would have been possible if Frank Giustra didn’t have a remarkable combination of caring and modesty, of vision and energy and iron determination,” Mr. Clinton told those gathered, adding: “I love this guy, and you should, too.”

But what had been a string of successes was about to hit a speed bump.

Arrest and Progress

By June 2009, a little over a year after the star-studded evening in Toronto, Uranium One’s stock was in free-fall, down 40 percent. Mr. Dzhakishev, the head of Kazatomprom, had just been arrested on charges that he illegally sold uranium deposits to foreign companies, including at least some of those won by Mr. Giustra’s UrAsia and now owned by Uranium One.

Publicly, the company tried to reassure shareholders. Its chief executive, Jean Nortier, issued a confident statement calling the situation a “complete misunderstanding.” He also contradicted Mr. Giustra’s contention that the uranium deal had not required government blessing. “When you do a transaction in Kazakhstan, you need the government’s approval,” he said, adding that UrAsia had indeed received that approval.

Photo

Bill Clinton met with Vladimir V. Putin in Moscow in 2010. CreditMikhail Metzel/Associated Press

But privately, Uranium One officials were worried they could lose their joint mining ventures. American diplomatic cables made public by WikiLeaks also reflect concerns that Mr. Dzhakishev’s arrest was part of a Russian power play for control of Kazakh uranium assets.

At the time, Russia was already eying a stake in Uranium One, Rosatom company documents show. Rosatom officials say they were seeking to acquire mines around the world because Russia lacks sufficient domestic reserves to meet its own industry needs.

It was against this backdrop that the Vancouver-based Uranium One pressed the American Embassy in Kazakhstan, as well as Canadian diplomats, to take up its cause with Kazakh officials, according to the American cables.

“We want more than a statement to the press,” Paul Clarke, a Uranium One executive vice president, told the embassy’s energy officer on June 10, the officer reported in a cable. “That is simply chitchat.” What the company needed, Mr. Clarke said, was official written confirmation that the licenses were valid.

The American Embassy ultimately reported to the secretary of state, Mrs. Clinton. Though the Clarke cable was copied to her, it was given wide circulation, and it is unclear if she would have read it; the Clinton campaign did not address questions about the cable.

What is clear is that the embassy acted, with the cables showing that the energy officer met with Kazakh officials to discuss the issue on June 10 and 11.

Three days later, a wholly owned subsidiary of Rosatom completed a deal for 17 percent of Uranium One. And within a year, the Russian government substantially upped the ante, with a generous offer to shareholders that would give it a 51 percent controlling stake. But first, Uranium One had to get the American government to sign off on the deal.

Among the Donors to the Clinton Foundation

Frank Giustra
$31.3 million and a pledge for $100 million more
He built a company that later merged with Uranium One.
Ian Telfer
$2.35 million
Mining investor who was chairman of Uranium One when an arm of the Russian government, Rosatom, acquired it.
Paul Reynolds
$1 million to $5 million
Adviser on 2007 UrAsia-Uranium One merger. Later helped raise $260 million for the company.
Frank Holmes
$250,000 to $500,000
Chief Executive of U.S. Global Investors Inc., which held $4.7 million in Uranium One shares in the first quarter of 2011.
Neil Woodyer
$50,000 to $100,000
Adviser to Uranium One. Founded Endeavour Mining with Mr. Giustra.
GMP Securities Ltd.
Donating portion of profits
Worked on debt issue that raised $260 million for Uranium One.

The Power to Say No

When a company controlled by the Chinese government sought a 51 percent stake in a tiny Nevada gold mining operation in 2009, it set off a secretive review process in Washington, where officials raised concerns primarily about the mine’s proximity to a military installation, but also about the potential for minerals at the site, including uranium, to come under Chinese control. The officials killed the deal.

Such is the power of the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States. The committee comprises some of the most powerful members of the cabinet, including the attorney general, the secretaries of the Treasury, Defense, Homeland Security, Commerce and Energy, and the secretary of state. They are charged with reviewing any deal that could result in foreign control of an American business or asset deemed important to national security.

The national security issue at stake in the Uranium One deal was not primarily about nuclear weapons proliferation; the United States and Russia had for years cooperated on that front, with Russia sending enriched fuel from decommissioned warheads to be used in American nuclear power plants in return for raw uranium.

Instead, it concerned American dependence on foreign uranium sources. While the United States gets one-fifth of its electrical power from nuclear plants, it produces only around 20 percent of the uranium it needs, and most plants have only 18 to 36 months of reserves, according to Marin Katusa, author of “The Colder War: How the Global Energy Trade Slipped From America’s Grasp.”

“The Russians are easily winning the uranium war, and nobody’s talking about it,” said Mr. Katusa, who explores the implications of the Uranium One deal in his book. “It’s not just a domestic issue but a foreign policy issue, too.”

When ARMZ, an arm of Rosatom, took its first 17 percent stake in Uranium One in 2009, the two parties signed an agreement, found in securities filings, to seek the foreign investment committee’s review. But it was the 2010 deal, giving the Russians a controlling 51 percent stake, that set off alarm bells. Four members of the House of Representatives signed a letter expressing concern. Two more began pushing legislation to kill the deal.

Senator John Barrasso, a Republican from Wyoming, where Uranium One’s largest American operation was, wrote to President Obama, saying the deal “would give the Russian government control over a sizable portion of America’s uranium production capacity.”

Photo

President Putin during a meeting with Rosatom’s chief executive, Sergei Kiriyenko, in December 2007.CreditDmitry Astakhov/Ria Novosti, via Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

“Equally alarming,” Mr. Barrasso added, “this sale gives ARMZ a significant stake in uranium mines in Kazakhstan.”

Uranium One’s shareholders were also alarmed, and were “afraid of Rosatom as a Russian state giant,” Sergei Novikov, a company spokesman, recalled in an interview. He said Rosatom’s chief, Mr. Kiriyenko, sought to reassure Uranium One investors, promising that Rosatom would not break up the company and would keep the same management, including Mr. Telfer, the chairman. Another Rosatom official said publicly that it did not intend to increase its investment beyond 51 percent, and that it envisioned keeping Uranium One a public company

American nuclear officials, too, seemed eager to assuage fears. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission wrote to Mr. Barrasso assuring him that American uranium would be preserved for domestic use, regardless of who owned it.

“In order to export uranium from the United States, Uranium One Inc. or ARMZ would need to apply for and obtain a specific NRC license authorizing the export of uranium for use as reactor fuel,” the letter said.

Still, the ultimate authority to approve or reject the Russian acquisition rested with the cabinet officials on the foreign investment committee, including Mrs. Clinton — whose husband was collecting millions in donations from people associated with Uranium One.

Undisclosed Donations

Before Mrs. Clinton could assume her post as secretary of state, the White House demanded that she sign a memorandum of understanding placing limits on the activities of her husband’s foundation. To avoid the perception of conflicts of interest, beyond the ban on foreign government donations, the foundation was required to publicly disclose all contributors.

To judge from those disclosures — which list the contributions in ranges rather than precise amounts — the only Uranium One official to give to the Clinton Foundation was Mr. Telfer, the chairman, and the amount was relatively small: no more than $250,000, and that was in 2007, before talk of a Rosatom deal began percolating.

Photo

Uranium One’s Russian takeover was approved by the United States while Hillary Rodham Clinton was secretary of state. CreditDoug Mills/The New York Times

But a review of tax records in Canada, where Mr. Telfer has a family charity called the Fernwood Foundation, shows that he donated millions of dollars more, during and after the critical time when the foreign investment committee was reviewing his deal with the Russians. With the Russians offering a special dividend, shareholders like Mr. Telfer stood to profit.

His donations through the Fernwood Foundation included $1 million reported in 2009, the year his company appealed to the American Embassy to help it keep its mines in Kazakhstan; $250,000 in 2010, the year the Russians sought majority control; as well as $600,000 in 2011 and $500,000 in 2012. Mr. Telfer said that his donations had nothing to do with his business dealings, and that he had never discussed Uranium One with Mr. or Mrs. Clinton. He said he had given the money because he wanted to support Mr. Giustra’s charitable endeavors with Mr. Clinton. “Frank and I have been friends and business partners for almost 20 years,” he said.

The Clinton campaign left it to the foundation to reply to questions about the Fernwood donations; the foundation did not provide a response.

Mr. Telfer’s undisclosed donations came in addition to between $1.3 million and $5.6 million in contributions, which were reported, from a constellation of people with ties to Uranium One or UrAsia, the company that originally acquired Uranium One’s most valuable asset: the Kazakh mines. Without those assets, the Russians would have had no interest in the deal: “It wasn’t the goal to buy the Wyoming mines. The goal was to acquire the Kazakh assets, which are very good,” Mr. Novikov, the Rosatom spokesman, said in an interview.

Amid this influx of Uranium One-connected money, Mr. Clinton was invited to speak in Moscow in June 2010, the same month Rosatom struck its deal for a majority stake in Uranium One.

The $500,000 fee — among Mr. Clinton’s highest — was paid by Renaissance Capital, a Russian investment bank with ties to the Kremlin that has invited world leaders, including Tony Blair, the former British prime minister, to speak at its investor conferences.

Renaissance Capital analysts talked up Uranium One’s stock, assigning it a “buy” rating and saying in a July 2010 research report that it was “the best play” in the uranium markets. In addition, Renaissance Capital turned up that same year as a major donor, along with Mr. Giustra and several companies linked to Uranium One or UrAsia, to a small medical charity in Colorado run by a friend of Mr. Giustra’s. In a newsletter to supporters, the friend credited Mr. Giustra with helping get donations from “businesses around the world.”

Photo

John Christensen sold the mining rights on his ranch in Wyoming to Uranium One.CreditMatthew Staver for The New York Times

Renaissance Capital would not comment on the genesis of Mr. Clinton’s speech to an audience that included leading Russian officials, or on whether it was connected to the Rosatom deal. According to a Russian government news service, Mr. Putin personally thanked Mr. Clinton for speaking.

A person with knowledge of the Clinton Foundation’s fund-raising operation, who requested anonymity to speak candidly about it, said that for many people, the hope is that money will in fact buy influence: “Why do you think they are doing it — because they love them?” But whether it actually does is another question. And in this case, there were broader geopolitical pressures that likely came into play as the United States considered whether to approve the Rosatom-Uranium One deal.

Diplomatic Considerations

If doing business with Rosatom was good for those in the Uranium One deal, engaging with Russia was also a priority of the incoming Obama administration, which was hoping for a new era of cooperation as Mr. Putin relinquished the presidency — if only for a term — to Dmitri A. Medvedev.

“The assumption was we could engage Russia to further core U.S. national security interests,” said Mr. McFaul, the former ambassador.

It started out well. The two countries made progress on nuclear proliferation issues, and expanded use of Russian territory to resupply American forces in Afghanistan. Keeping Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon was among the United States’ top priorities, and in June 2010 Russia signed off on a United Nations resolution imposing tough new sanctions on that country.

Two months later, the deal giving ARMZ a controlling stake in Uranium One was submitted to the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States for review. Because of the secrecy surrounding the process, it is hard to know whether the participants weighed the desire to improve bilateral relations against the potential risks of allowing the Russian government control over the biggest uranium producer in the United States. The deal was ultimately approved in October, following what two people involved in securing the approval said had been a relatively smooth process.

Not all of the committee’s decisions are personally debated by the agency heads themselves; in less controversial cases, deputy or assistant secretaries may sign off. But experts and former committee members say Russia’s interest in Uranium One and its American uranium reserves seemed to warrant attention at the highest levels.

Photo

Moukhtar Dzhakishev was arrested in 2009 while the chief of Kazatomprom.CreditDaniel Acker/Bloomberg, via Getty Images

“This deal had generated press, it had captured the attention of Congress and it was strategically important,” said Richard Russell, who served on the committee during the George W. Bush administration. “When I was there invariably any one of those conditions would cause this to get pushed way up the chain, and here you had all three.”

And Mrs. Clinton brought a reputation for hawkishness to the process; as a senator, she was a vocal critic of the committee’s approval of a deal that would have transferred the management of major American seaports to a company based in the United Arab Emirates, and as a presidential candidate she had advocated legislation to strengthen the process.

The Clinton campaign spokesman, Mr. Fallon, said that in general, these matters did not rise to the secretary’s level. He would not comment on whether Mrs. Clinton had been briefed on the matter, but he gave The Times a statement from the former assistant secretary assigned to the foreign investment committee at the time, Jose Fernandez. While not addressing the specifics of the Uranium One deal, Mr. Fernandez said, “Mrs. Clinton never intervened with me on any C.F.I.U.S. matter.”

Mr. Fallon also noted that if any agency had raised national security concerns about the Uranium One deal, it could have taken them directly to the president.

Anne-Marie Slaughter, the State Department’s director of policy planning at the time, said she was unaware of the transaction — or the extent to which it made Russia a dominant uranium supplier. But speaking generally, she urged caution in evaluating its wisdom in hindsight.

“Russia was not a country we took lightly at the time or thought was cuddly,” she said. “But it wasn’t the adversary it is today.”

That renewed adversarial relationship has raised concerns about European dependency on Russian energy resources, including nuclear fuel. The unease reaches beyond diplomatic circles. In Wyoming, where Uranium One equipment is scattered across his 35,000-acre ranch, John Christensen is frustrated that repeated changes in corporate ownership over the years led to French, South African, Canadian and, finally, Russian control over mining rights on his property.

“I hate to see a foreign government own mining rights here in the United States,” he said. “I don’t think that should happen.”

Mr. Christensen, 65, noted that despite assurances by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission that uranium could not leave the country without Uranium One or ARMZ obtaining an export license — which they do not have — yellowcake from his property was routinely packed into drums and trucked off to a processing plant in Canada.

Asked about that, the commission confirmed that Uranium One has, in fact, shipped yellowcake to Canada even though it does not have an export license. Instead, the transport company doing the shipping, RSB Logistic Services, has the license. A commission spokesman said that “to the best of our knowledge” most of the uranium sent to Canada for processing was returned for use in the United States. A Uranium One spokeswoman, Donna Wichers, said 25 percent had gone to Western Europe and Japan. At the moment, with the uranium market in a downturn, nothing is being shipped from the Wyoming mines.

The “no export” assurance given at the time of the Rosatom deal is not the only one that turned out to be less than it seemed. Despite pledges to the contrary, Uranium One was delisted from the Toronto Stock Exchange and taken private. As of 2013, Rosatom’s subsidiary, ARMZ, owned 100 percent of it.

Correction: April 23, 2015 
An earlier version of this article misstated, in one instance, the surname of a fellow at the Hoover Institution. He is Peter Schweizer, not Schweitzer.An earlier version also incorrectly described the Clinton Foundation’s agreement with the Obama administration regarding foreign-government donations while Hillary Rodham Clinton was secretary of state. Under the agreement, the foundation would not accept new donations from foreign governments, though it could seek State Department waivers in specific cases. It was not barred from accepting all foreign-government donations.
Correction: April 30, 2015 
An article on Friday about contributions to the Clinton Foundation from people associated with a Canadian uranium-mining company described incorrectly the foundation’s agreement with the Obama administration regarding foreign-government donations while Hillary Clinton was secretary of state. Under the agreement, the foundation would not accept new donations from foreign governments, though it could seek State Department waivers in specific cases. The foundation was not barred from accepting all foreign-government donations.

FBI uncovered Russian bribery plot before Obama administration approved controversial nuclear deal with Moscow

Before the Obama administration approved a controversial deal in 2010 giving Moscow control of a large swath of American uranium, the FBI had gathered substantial evidence that Russian nuclear industry officials were engaged in bribery, kickbacks, extortion and money laundering designed to grow Vladimir Putin’s atomic energy business inside the United States, according to government documents and interviews.

Federal agents used a confidential U.S. witness working inside the Russian nuclear industry to gather extensive financial records, make secret recordings and intercept emails as early as 2009 that showed Moscow had compromised an American uranium trucking firm with bribes and kickbacks in violation of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, FBI and court documents show.

They also obtained an eyewitness account — backed by documents — indicating 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, sources told The Hill.

The racketeering scheme was conducted “with the consent of higher level officials” in Russia who “shared the proceeds” from the kickbacks, one agent declared in an affidavit years later.

Rather than bring immediate charges in 2010, however, the Department of Justice (DOJ) continued investigating the matter for nearly four more years, essentially leaving the American public and Congress in the dark about Russian nuclear corruption on U.S. soil during a period when the Obama administration made two major decisions benefiting Putin’s commercial nuclear ambitions.

The first decision occurred in October 2010, when the State Department and government agencies on the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States unanimously approved the partial sale of Canadian mining company Uranium One to the Russian nuclear giant Rosatom, giving Moscow control of more than 20 percent of America’s uranium supply.

When this sale was used by Trump on the campaign trail last year, Hillary Clinton’s spokesman said she was not involved in the committee review and noted the State Department official who handled it said she “never intervened … on any [Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States] matter.”

In 2011, the administration gave approval for Rosatom’s Tenex subsidiary to sell commercial uranium to U.S. nuclear power plants in a partnership with the United States Enrichment Corp. Before then, Tenex had been limited to selling U.S. nuclear power plants reprocessed uranium recovered from dismantled Soviet nuclear weapons under the 1990s Megatons to Megawatts peace program.

“The Russians were compromising American contractors in the nuclear industry with kickbacks and extortion threats, all of which raised legitimate national security concerns. And none of that evidence got aired before the Obama administration made those decisions,” a person who worked on the case told The Hill, speaking on condition of anonymity for fear of retribution by U.S. or Russian officials.

The Obama administration’s decision to approve Rosatom’s purchase of Uranium One has been a source of political controversy since 2015.

That’s when conservative author Peter Schweitzer and The New York Times documented how Bill Clinton collected hundreds of thousands of dollars in Russian speaking fees and his charitable foundation collected millions in donations from parties interested in the deal while Hillary Clinton presided on the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States.

The Obama administration and the Clintons defended their actions at the time, insisting there was no evidence that any Russians or donors engaged in wrongdoing and there was no national security reason for any member of the committee to oppose the Uranium One deal.

But FBI, Energy Department and court documents reviewed by The Hill show the FBI in fact had gathered substantial evidence well before the committee’s decision that Vadim Mikerin — the main Russian overseeing Putin’s nuclear expansion inside the United States — was engaged in wrongdoing starting in 2009.

Then-Attorney General Eric Holder was among the Obama administration officials joining Hillary Clinton on the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States at the time the Uranium One deal was approved. Multiple current and former government officials told The Hill they did not know whether the FBI or DOJ ever alerted committee members to the criminal activity they uncovered.

Spokesmen for Holder and Clinton did not return calls seeking comment. The Justice Department also didn’t comment.

Mikerin was a director of Rosatom’s Tenex in Moscow since the early 2000s, where he oversaw Rosatom’s nuclear collaboration with the United States under the Megatons to Megwatts program and its commercial uranium sales to other countries. In 2010, Mikerin was dispatched to the U.S. on a work visa approved by the Obama administration to open Rosatom’s new American arm called Tenam.

Between 2009 and January 2012, Mikerin “did knowingly and willfully combine, conspire confederate and agree with other persons … to obstruct, delay and affect commerce and the movement of an article and commodity (enriched uranium) in commerce by extortion,” a November 2014 indictment stated.

His illegal conduct was captured with the help of a confidential witness, an American businessman, who began making kickback payments at Mikerin’s direction and with the permission of the FBI. The first kickback payment recorded by the FBI through its informant was dated Nov. 27, 2009, the records show.

In evidentiary affidavits signed in 2014 and 2015, an Energy Department agent assigned to assist the FBI in the case testified that Mikerin supervised a “racketeering scheme” that involved extortion, bribery, money laundering and kickbacks that were both directed by and provided benefit to more senior officials back in Russia.

“As part of the scheme, Mikerin, with the consent of higher level officials at TENEX and Rosatom (both Russian state-owned entities) would offer no-bid contracts to US businesses in exchange for kickbacks in the form of money payments made to some offshore banks accounts,” Agent David Gadren testified.

“Mikerin apparently then shared the proceeds with other co-conspirators associated with TENEX in Russia and elsewhere,” the agent added.

The investigation was ultimately supervised by then-U.S. Attorney Rod Rosenstein, an Obama appointee who now serves as President Trump’s deputy attorney general, and then-Assistant FBI Director Andrew McCabe, now the deputy FBI director under Trump, Justice Department documents show.

Both men now play a key role in the current investigation into possible, but still unproven, collusion between Russia and Donald Trump’s campaign during the 2016 election cycle. McCabe is under congressional and Justice Department inspector general investigation in connection with money his wife’s Virginia state Senate campaign accepted in 2015 from now-Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe at a time when McAuliffe was reportedly under investigation by the FBI. The probe is not focused on McAuliffe’s conduct but rather on whether McCabe’s attendance violated the Hatch Act or other FBI conflict rules.

The connections to the current Russia case are many. The Mikerin probe began in 2009 when Robert Mueller, now the special counsel in charge of the Trump case, was still FBI director. And it ended in late 2015 under the direction of then-FBI Director James Comey, whom Trump fired earlier this year.

Its many twist and turns aside, the FBI nuclear industry case proved a gold mine, in part because it uncovered a new Russian money laundering apparatus that routed bribe and kickback payments through financial instruments in Cyprus, Latvia and Seychelles. A Russian financier in New Jersey was among those arrested for the money laundering, court records show.

The case also exposed a serious national security breach: Mikerin had given a contract to an American trucking firm called Transport Logistics International that held the sensitive job of transporting Russia’s uranium around the United States in return for more than $2 million in kickbacks from some of its executives, court records show.

One of Mikerin’s former employees told the FBI that Tenex officials in Russia specifically directed the scheme to “allow for padded pricing to include kickbacks,” agents testified in one court filing.

Bringing down a major Russian nuclear corruption scheme that had both compromised a sensitive uranium transportation asset inside the U.S. and facilitated international money laundering would seem a major feather in any law enforcement agency’s cap.

But the Justice Department and FBI took little credit in 2014 when Mikerin, the Russian financier and the trucking firm executives were arrested and charged.

The only public statement occurred a year later when the Justice Department put out a little-noticed press release in August 2015, just days before Labor Day. The release noted that the various defendants had reached plea deals.

By that time, the criminal cases against Mikerin had been narrowed to a single charge of money laundering for a scheme that officials admitted stretched from 2004 to 2014. And though agents had evidence of criminal wrongdoing they collected since at least 2009, federal prosecutors only cited in the plea agreement a handful of transactions that occurred in 2011 and 2012, well after the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States’s approval.

The final court case also made no mention of any connection to the influence peddling conversations the FBI undercover informant witnessed about the Russian nuclear officials trying to ingratiate themselves with the Clintons even though agents had gathered documents showing the transmission of millions of dollars from Russia’s nuclear industry to an American entity that had provided assistance to Bill Clinton’s foundation, sources confirmed to The Hill.

The lack of fanfare left many key players in Washington with no inkling that a major Russian nuclear corruption scheme with serious national security implications had been uncovered.

On Dec. 15, 2015, the Justice Department put out a release stating that Mikerin, “a former Russian official residing in Maryland was sentenced today to 48 months in prison” and ordered to forfeit more than $2.1 million.

Ronald Hosko, who served as the assistant FBI director in charge of criminal cases when the investigation was underway, told The Hill he did not recall ever being briefed about Mikerin’s case by the counterintelligence side of the bureau despite the criminal charges that were being lodged.

“I had no idea this case was being conducted,” a surprised Hosko said in an interview.

Likewise, major congressional figures were also kept in the dark.

Former Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Mich.), who chaired the House Intelligence Committee during the time the FBI probe was being conducted, told The Hill that he had never been told anything about the Russian nuclear corruption case even though many fellow lawmakers had serious concerns about the Obama administration’s approval of the Uranium One deal.

“Not providing information on a corruption scheme before the Russian uranium deal was approved by U.S. regulators and engage appropriate congressional committees has served to undermine U.S. national security interests by the very people charged with protecting them,” he said. “The Russian efforts to manipulate our American political enterprise is breathtaking.”

This story was updated at 6:50 p.m.

http://thehill.com/policy/national-security/355749-fbi-uncovered-russian-bribery-plot-before-obama-administration

The Facts on Uranium One

Rosatom

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Rosatom
State corporation
Industry Nuclear energy
Predecessor Federal Agency on Atomic Energy
Founded 2007
Revenue RUB 821.2 billion[1] (2015)
Total assets RUB 2,029 billion[1] (2015)
Website rosatom.ru

Headquarters in Moscow

Rosatom State Atomic Energy Corporation (RussianРосатомIPA: [rɐsˈatəm]) is a state corporation (non-profit organization) in Russia, established in 2007, the regulatory body of the Russian nuclear complex. It is headquartered in Moscow. Rosatom runs all nuclear assets of the Russian Federation, both civilian and military, totaling over 360 business and research units, including all Russian nuclear icebreaker ships. Along with commercial activities which promote nuclear power and nuclear fuel cycle facilities, it acts as a governmental agent, primarily in the field of national security (nuclear deterrence), nuclear and radiation safety, basic and applied science. Besides, it has the authority to fulfill on behalf of the Russian Federation the international commitments undertaken by the nation with regard to the peaceful use of atomic energy and non-proliferation.

Rosatom holds second place in the world in terms of uranium deposits ownership, fourth in terms of nuclear energy production, produces 40% of the world’s enriched uranium and 17% of the world’s nuclear fuel. Rosatom is the only vendor in the world able to offer the nuclear industry’s entire range of products and services, starting from specialized materials and equipment and all the way through to finished products such as nuclear power plants or nuclear powered icebreakers.[2]

The Russian Government has set three major goals for Rosatom: ensure sustainable development of the nuclear weapons complex; increase nuclear contribution in electricity generation (to 25%-30% by 2030) with continued safety improvements; and strengthen the country’s position on the global market of nuclear technology, by expanding traditional markets and acquiring new ones.

Predecessors

The Ministry for Atomic Energy of the Russian Federation (RussianМинистерство по атомной энергии Российской Федерации), or MinAtom (МинАтом), was established on January 29, 1992 as a successor of the Ministry of Nuclear Engineering and Industry of the USSR. It was reorganized as the Federal Agency on Atomic Energy on March 9, 2004. According to the law adopted by the Russian parliament in November 2007, and signed by Russian President Putin in early December, the agency was transformed to a Russian state corporation.[3]

A programme of government support for the construction of nuclear power plants will finish in 2020.[4]

Activities

Rosatom controls nuclear power holding Atomenergoprom, nuclear weapons companies, research institutes and nuclear and radiation safety agencies. It also represents Russia in the world in the field of peaceful use of nuclear energy and protection of the non-proliferation regime.[3] Rosatom manages the Russian fleet of nuclear icebreakers through Atomflot.

OKB Gidropress, which develops the current Russian nuclear power station range VVER, is a subsidiary of Rosatom.[5] OKBM Afrikantov, which develops the current Russian nuclear power station BN-series such as BN-800 and BN-1200, is a subsidiary of Rosatom.

In 2017 Rosatom decided to invest in wind power, believing that rapid cost reductions in the renewable industry will become a competitive threat to nuclear power, and has started to build wind turbines.[6] Rosatom was also concerned that nuclear export opportunities were becoming exhausted.[7] In October 2017 Rosatom was reported to be considering postponing commissioning new nuclear plants in Russia due to excess generation capacity and that new nuclear electricity prices are higher than for existing plant. The Russian government is considering reducing support for new nuclear under its support contracts, called Dogovor Postavki Moshnosti (DPM), which guarantee developers a return on investment through increased payments from consumers for 20 years.[8]

Projects

Rosatom is currently building 37% of nuclear reactors under construction worldwide, generally of the OKB Gidropress VVER type.[9] Fennovoima, an electricity company in Finland, announced in September 2013 that it had chosen the OKB Gidropress VVER AES-2006 pressurized water reactor for a proposed power-generating station in PyhäjokiFinland. The construction contract is estimated to be worth 6.4 billion euros.[10]

On 11 November 2014 head of Rosatom Sergey Kiriyenko and head of Atomic Energy Organization of Iran Ali Akbar Salehi have signed a Protocol to Russian-Iranian Intergovernmental Agreement of 1992, according to which the sides will cooperate in construction of eight power generating units with VVER reactors. Four of these reactors are planned to be constructed for the second construction phase of Bushehr Nuclear Power Plant and four of them will be constructed on another site.[11]

Rosatom received $66.5 billion of foreign orders in 2012, including $28.9bn for nuclear plant construction, $24.7bn for uranium products and $12.9bn for nuclear fuel exports and associated activities.[12]

Rosatom also involves on large-scale projects such as ITER | ITER-Russia and FAIR | FAIR-Russia.

As of Jan 2017, the total portfolio orders of Rosatom reached US$300 billion.[13]

Management

The highest executive body of Rosatom is the Board of Trustees. The board is headed since 2005 by Sergei Kiriyenko. The other Board members are[14]

See also

References

  1. Jump up to:a b “Financial and Economic Results” (PDF). Rosatom. Retrieved 25 August 2017.
  2. Jump up^ “Benchmarking the global nuclear industry 2012 Heading for a fast recovery” (PDF). E&Y. 2012-10-11. Retrieved 2014-10-11.
  3. Jump up to:a b . Rosatom. 2007-12-17 http://www.skirtingboards.com/blog/news-archive/rosatom-state-corporation-registered/. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  4. Jump up^ “Rosatom chief outlines commercial vision”. World Nuclear News. 8 March 2017. Retrieved 10 March 2017.
  5. Jump up^ “Our company”. OKB Gidropress. Retrieved 20 September2011.
  6. Jump up^ Foy, Henry (28 June 2017). “Rosatom powers through nuclear industry woes”Financial Times. Retrieved 2 July 2017.
  7. Jump up^ Cottee, Matthew (2 August 2017). “China’s nuclear export ambitions run into friction”Financial Times. Retrieved 6 August 2017.
  8. Jump up^ “Rosatom considers delaying reactor commissioning”. Nuclear Engineering International. 30 October 2017. Retrieved 6 November 2017.
  9. Jump up^ “The real front in US-Russia ‘Cold War’? Nuclear power”cnbc. 2014-03-23. Retrieved 2014-11-28.
  10. Jump up^ “Fennovoima taps Russian supplier for nuke project”Yle Uutiset. September 3, 2013. Retrieved September 8, 2013.
  11. Jump up^ “Россия и Иран расширяют сотрудничество в области мирного использования атомной энергии”. 2014-11-11. Retrieved 2014-11-11.
  12. Jump up^ “Rosatom aims for $72bn in foreign orders for 2013”. Nuclear Engineering International. 13 November 2013. Retrieved 15 November 2013.
  13. Jump up^ http://themoscowjournal.com/the-portfolio-of-orders-of-rosatom-reached-300-billion.html
  14. Jump up^ Наблюдательный совет // Государственная корпорация по атомной энергии «Росатом»: Официальный сайт. Template:Проверено

External links

Uranium One

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Uranium One Inc.
Industry Mining
Founded 2005
Headquarters Toronto, OntarioCanada
Key people
Chris Sattler (CEO)
Vadim Zhivov (President)
Products Uranium
Gold
Number of employees
2,220[1]
Parent Rosatom
Website www.uranium1.com

Uranium One is a Canadian uranium mining company with headquarters in Toronto, Ontario. It has operations in AustraliaCanadaKazakhstanSouth Africa and the United States. In January 2013 Rosatom, the Russian state-owned uranium monopoly, through its subsidiary ARMZ Uranium Holding, purchased the company at a value of $1.3 billion.[2] The purchase of the company by Russian interests is, as of October 2017, under investigation by the United States House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.

History

On July 5, 2005, Southern Cross Resources Inc. and Aflease Gold and Uranium Resources Ltd announced that they would be merging under the name SXR Uranium One Inc.[3]

In 2007 Uranium One acquired a controlling interest in UrAsia Energy,[4] a Canadian firm with headquarters in Vancouver from Frank Giustra.[5] UrAsia has interests in rich uranium operations in Kazakhstan,[6] and UrAsia Energy’s acquisition of its Kazakhstan uranium interests from Kazatomprom followed a trip to Almaty in 2005 by Giustra and former U.S. President Bill Clinton where they met with Nursultan Nazarbayev, the leader of Kazakhstan. Substantial contributions to the Clinton Foundation by Giustra followed,[5][7] with Clinton, Giustra, and Mexican telecommunications billionaire Carlos Slim in 2007 establishing the Clinton Foundation’s Clinton Giustra Sustainable Growth Initiative to combat poverty in the developing world.[8] In addition to his initial contribution of $100 million Giustra pledged to contribute half of his future earnings from mining to the initiative.[8]

In June 2009, the Russian uranium mining company ARMZ Uranium Holding Co. (ARMZ), a part of Rosatom, acquired 16.6% of shares in Uranium One in exchange for a 50% interest in the Karatau uranium mining project, a joint venture with Kazatomprom.[9] In June 2010, Uranium One acquired 50% and 49% respective interests in southern Kazakhstan-based Akbastau and Zarechnoye uranium mines from ARMZ. In exchange, ARMZ increased its stake in Uranium One to 51%. The acquisition resulted in a 60% annual production increase at Uranium One, from approximately 10 million to 16 million lb.[10][11] The deal was subject to anti-trust and other conditions and was not finalized until the companies received Kazakh regulatory approvals, approval under Canadian investment law, clearance by the US Committee on Foreign Investments, and approvals from both the Toronto and Johannesburg stock exchanges. The deal was finalized by the end of 2010.[11] Uranium One’s extraction rights in the U.S. amounted to 0.2% of the world’s uranium production.[12]Uranium One paid its minority shareholders a dividend of 1.06 US Dollars per share at the end of 2010.[citation needed]

ARMZ took complete control of Uranium One in January 2013 by buying all shares it did not already own.[2] In October 2013, Uranium One Inc. became a private company and a wholly owned indirect subsidiary of Rosatom.[3][13] From 2012 to 2014, an unspecified amount of Uranium was reportedly exported to Canada via a Kentucky-based trucking firm with an existing export license; most of the processed uranium was returned to the U.S., with approximately 25% going to Western Europe and Japan.[14][15]

Congressional investigation

Since uranium is considered a strategic asset with national security implications, the acquisition of Uranium One by Rosatom was reviewed by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), a committee of nine government agencies including the United States Department of State, which was then headed by Hillary Clinton.[16][17][18] The voting members of the committee can object to such a foreign transaction, but the final decision then rests with the president.[19]

In April 2015, The New York Times wrote that, during the acquisition, the family foundation of Uranium One’s chairman made $2.35 million in donations to the Clinton Foundation. The donations were legal but not publicly disclosed by the Clinton Foundation, despite an agreement with the White House to disclose all contributors.[20] In addition, a Russian investment bank with ties to the Kremlin and which was promoting Uranium One stock paid Bill Clinton $500,000 for a speech in Moscow shortly after the acquisition was announced.[17][18] Several members of Clinton’s State Department staff and officials from the Obama-era Department of Justice have said that CFIUS reviews are handled by civil servants and that it would be unlikely that Clinton would have had more than nominal involvement in her department’s signing off on the acquisition.[21] According to Snopes, the timing of donations might have been questionable if Hillary Clinton had played a key role in approving the deal, but all evidence suggests that she did not and may in fact have had no role in approving the deal at all.[22]

In October 2017, following a report by John F. Solomon and Alison Spann published in The Hill and citing anonymous sources,[23][24] the United States House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence opened an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the sale of Uranium One.[21]

FactCheck.org reported that there was “no evidence” connecting the Uranium One–Rosatom merger deal with a money laundering and bribery case involving a different Rosatom subsidiary which resulted in the conviction of a Russian individual in 2015, contrary to what is implied in the Solomon-Spann story.[20][25]Glenn Kessler of The Washington Post wrote that the problem with some of the accusations that Republican commentators levied against Clinton is that she “by all accounts, did not participate in any discussions regarding the Uranium One sale.”[26]

In October 2017, President Trump directed the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) to lift a “gag order” it had placed on a former FBI informant involved the investigation. The DOJ released the informant from his nondisclosure agreement on October 25, 2017,[27][28][29]authorizing him to provide the leaders of the Senate Judiciary Committee, House Oversight Committee, and the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence “any information or documents he has concerning alleged corruption or bribery involving transactions in the uranium market” involving Rosatom, its subsidiaries Tenex and Uranium One, and the Clinton Foundation.[30]

During a C-SPAN interview, Hillary Clinton said that any allegations that she was bribed to approve the Uranium One deal were “baloney”.[31]

See also

References

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uranium_One

Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS, commonly pronounced as if “Cifius” /ˈsɪfi.əs/) is an inter-agency committee of the United States Government that reviews the national security implications of foreign investments in U.S. companies or operations. Chaired by the United States Secretary of the Treasury, CFIUS includes representatives from 16 U.S. departments and agencies, including the DefenseState and Commerce departments, as well as (most recently) the Department of Homeland Security. CFIUS was established by President Gerald Ford‘s Executive Order11858 in 1975. President Reagan delegated the review process to the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States with the Executive Order 12661 in 1988. This was in response to U.S. Congress giving authority to the President to review foreign investments, in the form of Exon-Florio Amendment.

Process

All companies proposing to be involved in an acquisition by a foreign firm are supposed to voluntarily notify CFIUS, but CFIUS can review transactions that are not voluntarily submitted.

CFIUS’ primary concern in most reviews is that technology or funds from an acquired U.S. business might be transferred to a sanctioned country as a result of being acquired by a foreign acquirer.[1]

CFIUS reviews begin with a 30-day decision to authorize a transaction or begin a statutory investigation. If the latter is chosen, the committee has another 45 days to decide whether to permit the acquisition or order divestment. Most transactions submitted to CFIUS are approved without the statutory investigation.[2] However, in 2012 about 40% of the 114 cases submitted to CFIUS proceeded to investigation.[3]

CFIUS provides close scrutiny to acquisitions of critical infrastructure, including public health or telecommunications, among others.[4]

CFIUS has looked at the “restrictions on sale of advanced computers to any of a long list of foreign recipients, ranging from China to Iran.”[5] CFIUS reviews even deals with firms from U.S. allies, such as BAE Systems‘ early-2005 acquisition of United Defense. This and the vast majority of transactions submitted to CFIUS are approved without difficulty. But at least one deal has been called off when CFIUS began to take a closer look.[6]

History

In 1975, President Ford created the Committee by Executive Order11858.[7][8] It was composed of the Secretary of the Treasury as the chairman, Secretary of StateSecretary of DefenseSecretary of Commerce, the Assistant to the President for Economic Affairs, and the Executive Director of the Council on International Economic Policy. The Executive Order also stipulated that the Committee would have “primary continuing responsibility within the Executive Branch for monitoring the impact of foreign investment in the United States, both direct and portfolio, and for coordinating the implementation of United States policy on such investment.” In particular, CFIUS was directed to:[9]

  1. arrange for the preparation of analyses of trends and significant developments in foreign investments in the United States;
  2. provide guidance on arrangements with foreign governments for advance consultations on prospective major foreign governmental investments in the United States;
  3. review investments in the United States which, in the judgment of the Committee, might have major implications for United States national interests; and
  4. consider proposals for new legislation or regulations relating to foreign investment as may appear necessary.

In 1980, President Jimmy Carter added the United States Trade Representative and substituted the Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers for the Executive Director of the Council on International Economic Policy by Executive Order12188.[8][10]

In 1988, the Exon–Florio Amendment was the result of national security concerns in Congress caused by the proposed purchase of Fairchild Semiconductor by Fujitsu.[8][11][12] The Exon-Florio Amendment granted the President the authority to block proposed mergers, acquisitions, and takeovers that threaten national security.[8] In 1988, President Ronald Reagan added the Attorney General and the Director of the Office of Management and Budget by Executive Order12661.[8][13]

In 1992, the Byrd Amendment required CFIUS to investigate proposed mergers, acquisitions, and takeovers where the acquirer is acting on behalf of a foreign government and affects national security.[8] In 1993, President Bill Clinton added the Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy, the National Security Advisor, and the Assistant to the President for Economic Policy by Executive Order12860.[8][14] In 2003, President George W. Bush added the Secretary of Homeland Security by Executive Order13286.[8][15]

The Foreign Investment and National Security Act of 2007 (FINSA) established the Committee by statutory authority, reduced membership to 6 cabinet members and the Attorney General, added the Secretary of Labor and the Director of National Intelligence, and removed 7 White House appointees.[8] In 2008, President Bush added the United States Trade Representative and the Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy by Executive Order13456 implementing the law.[8][16] FINSA requires the President to conduct a national security investigation of certain proposed investment transactions, provides a broader oversight role for Congress, and keeps the President as the only officer with the authority to suspend or prohibit mergers, acquisitions, and takeovers.[8]

Opinions on the Committee

In February 2006, Richard Perle gave his opinion on CFIUS when he related to CBS News his experience with the panel during the Reagan administration: “The committee almost never met, and when it deliberated it was usually at a fairly low bureaucratic level.” He also added, “I think it’s a bit of a joke if we were serious about scrutinizing foreign ownership and foreign control, particularly since 9/11.”[17][18]

Others emphasize the crucial role that foreign direct investment plays in the U.S. economy, and the discouraging effect that heightened scrutiny may cause. Foreign investors in the United States, much like U.S. investors elsewhere, bring expertise and infusions of capital into often-struggling sectors of the U.S. economy. In a February 2006 interview with the New York Times, another former Reagan administration official, Clyde V. Prestowitz Jr., noted that the United States “need[s] a net inflow of capital of $3 billion a day to keep the economy afloat…. Yet all of the body language here is ‘go away.'”[19]

Notable cases

Only four foreign investments have been blocked by U.S. presidents, in 1990, 2012, 2016, and 2017,[20] though others have been considered and, often, less explicitly opposed:

  • 1990: President George H. W. Bush voided the sale of MAMCO Manufacturing to a Chinese agency, ordering China National Aero-Technology Import & Export Corporation to divest themselves of Seattle-based MAMCO[21]
  • 2000: NTT Communications‘ acquisition of Verio[citation needed]
  • 2005: The acquisition of IBM‘s personal computer and laptop unit by Lenovo was approved by President George W. Bush[20]
  • 2005: The acquisition of Sequoia Voting Systems of Oakland, California, by Smartmatic, a Dutch company contracted by Hugo Chávez‘s government to replace that country’s elections machinery[22]
  • 2005: In June 2005 a CNOOC Group (a major Chinese State-owned oil and gas corporation) subsidiary (CNOOC limited, publicly listed on the New York NYSE and Hong Kong stock exchanges) made an $18.5 billion cash offer for American oil company Unocal Corporation, topping an earlier bid by ChevronTexaco. While this offer was not opposed by the CFIUS and the Bush Administration, it was criticized by several Congressmen and, following a vote in the United States House of Representatives, the bid was referred to President George W. Bush, on the grounds that its implications for national security needed to be reviewed. On July 20, 2005 Unocal Corporation announced that it had accepted a buyout offer from ChevronTexaco for $17.1 billion, which was submitted to Unocal stockholders on August 10. On August 2 CNOOC Limited announced that it had withdrawn its bid, citing political tensions in the United States.
  • 2006: State-owned Dubai Ports World‘s planned acquisition of P&O, the lessee and operator of many terminals, mostly for container ships, in several ports, including in New York-New Jersey and others in the US.[23] This acquisition was initially approved by the CFIUS and then President G.W. Bush, but was eventually opposed by Congress (Dubai Ports World controversy).
  • 2010: Russian interests acquired a controlling interest in Uranium One, which has 20 percent of U.S. uranium extraction capacity.[24] The Nuclear Regulatory Commission approved the deal because Uranium One only has a license for uranium recovery, not uranium export.[25] All voting members of CFIUS voted in favor including Jose Fernandez, the State Department’s representative, a fact that became significant in the wake of allegations against Hillary Clinton from author Peter Schweizer.[26]
  • 2012: Ralls Corporation, owned by the Chinese Sany Group,[27] was ordered by President Barack Obama to divest itself of four small wind farm projects located too close to a U.S. Navy weapons systems training facility in Boardman, Oregon[20]
  • 2016: President Obama blocked the buying by a Chinese company of the U.S. assets of the German company Aixtron SE.[28] Separately, the New York Times reported that “United States officials blocked” a $2.6 billion deal by Philips to sell Lumileds division to GO Scale Capital and GRS Ventures over concerns regarding Chinese applications of gallium nitride.[29]
  • 2017: President Trump blocked the acquisition by a Chinese purchaser of Lattice Semiconductor.[30]

Notifications and investigations

CFIUS Notifications and Investigations, 1988–2011[31][32][33]

Year Notifications Investigations Notices
withdrawn
Presidential
decision
1988 14 1 0 1
1989 204 5 2 3
1990 295 6 2 4
1991 152 1 0 1
1992 106 2 1 1
1993 82 0 0 0
1994 69 0 0 0
1995 81 0 0 0
1996 55 0 0 0
1997 62 0 0 0
1998 65 2 2 0
1999 79 0 0 0
2000 72 1 0 1
2001 55 1 1 0
2002 43 0 0 0
2003 41 2 1 1
2004 53 2 2 0
2005 65 2 2 0
2006 111 7 19 2
2007 138 6 15 0
2008 155 23 23 0
2009 65 25 7 0
2010 93 35 12 0
2011 111 40 6 0
2012 114 45 22 1
2013 97 3 48 5
2014 147 3 51 9
Total 2,380 219 117 15

See also

References

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Committee_on_Foreign_Investment_in_the_United_States

Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act
Great Seal of the United States
Long title An Act relating to the control of organized crime in the United States
Acronyms(colloquial)
  • OCCA
  • RICO
Nicknames Organized Crime Control Act of 1970
Enacted by the 91st United States Congress
Effective October 15, 1970
Citations
Public law 91-452
Statutes at Large 84 Stat. 922-3 aka 84 Stat. 941
Codification
Titles amended 18 U.S.C.: Crimes and Criminal Procedure
U.S.C.sections created 18 U.S.C. §§ 19611968
Legislative history
  • Introduced in the Senate as S. 30 by John L. McClellan(DAR)
  • Passed the Senate on January 23, 1970 (74-1)
  • Passed the House on October 7, 1970 (341-26)
  • Signed into law by President Richard Nixon on October 15, 1970

The Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, commonly referred to as the RICO Act or simply RICO, is a United States federal law that provides for extended criminal penalties and a civil cause of action for acts performed as part of an ongoing criminal organization. The RICO Act focuses specifically on racketeering, and it allows the leaders of a syndicate to be tried for the crimes which they ordered others to do or assisted them in doing, closing a perceived loophole that allowed a person who instructed someone else to, for example, murder, to be exempt from the trial because they did not actually commit the crime personally.[1]

RICO was enacted by section 901(a) of the Organized Crime Control Act of 1970 (Pub.L. 91–452, 84 Stat. 922, enacted October 15, 1970), and is codified at 18 U.S.C. ch. 96 as 18 U.S.C. §§ 19611968G. Robert Blakey, an adviser to the United States Senate Government Operations Committee, drafted the law under the close supervision of the committee’s chairman, Senator John Little McClellan. It was enacted as Title IX of the Organized Crime Control Act of 1970, and signed into law by Richard M. Nixon. While its original use in the 1970s was to prosecute the Mafia as well as others who were actively engaged in organized crime, its later application has been more widespread.

Beginning in 1972, 33 states adopted state RICO laws to be able to prosecute similar conduct.

Summary

Under RICO, a person who has committed “at least two acts of racketeering activity” drawn from a list of 35 crimes—27 federal crimes and 8 state crimes—within a 10-year period can be charged with racketeering if such acts are related in one of four specified ways to an “enterprise”.[citation needed] Those found guilty of racketeering can be fined up to $25,000 and sentenced to 20 years in prison per racketeering count.[citation needed] In addition, the racketeer must forfeit all ill-gotten gains and interest in any business gained through a pattern of “racketeering activity.”[citation needed]

When the U.S. Attorney decides to indict someone under RICO, they have the option of seeking a pre-trial restraining order or injunction to temporarily seize a defendant’s assets and prevent the transfer of potentially forfeitable property, as well as require the defendant to put up a performance bond. This provision was placed in the law because the owners of Mafia-related shell corporations often absconded with the assets. An injunction and/or performance bond ensures that there is something to seize in the event of a guilty verdict.

In many cases, the threat of a RICO indictment can force defendants to plead guilty to lesser charges, in part because the seizure of assets would make it difficult to pay a defense attorney. Despite its harsh provisions, a RICO-related charge is considered easy to prove in court, as it focuses on patterns of behavior as opposed to criminal acts.[2]

RICO also permits a private individual “damaged in his business or property” by a “racketeer” to file a civil suit. The plaintiff must prove the existence of an “enterprise”. The defendant(s) are not the enterprise; in other words, the defendant(s) and the enterprise are not one and the same.[3] There must be one of four specified relationships between the defendant(s) and the enterprise: either the defendant(s) invested the proceeds of the pattern of racketeering activity into the enterprise (18 U.S.C. § 1962(a)); or the defendant(s) acquired or maintained an interest in, or control of, the enterprise through the pattern of racketeering activity (subsection (b)); or the defendant(s) conducted or participated in the affairs of the enterprise “through” the pattern of racketeering activity (subsection (c)); or the defendant(s) conspired to do one of the above (subsection (d)).[4] In essence, the enterprise is either the ‘prize,’ ‘instrument,’ ‘victim,’ or ‘perpetrator’ of the racketeers.[5] A civil RICO action can be filed in state or federal court.[6]

Both the criminal and civil components allow the recovery of treble damages (damages in triple the amount of actual/compensatory damages).

Although its primary intent was to deal with organized crime, Blakey said that Congress never intended it to merely apply to the Mob. He once told Time, “We don’t want one set of rules for people whose collars are blue or whose names end in vowels, and another set for those whose collars are white and have Ivy League diplomas.”[2]

Initially, prosecutors were skeptical of using RICO, mainly because it was unproven. The RICO Act was first used by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Southern District of New York on September 18, 1979, in the United States v. Scotto. Scotto, who was convicted on charges of racketeering, accepting unlawful labor payments, and income tax evasion, headed the International Longshoreman’s Association. During the 1980s and 1990s, federal prosecutors used the law to bring charges against several Mafia figures. The second major success was the Mafia Commission Trial, which resulted in several top leaders of New York City’s Five Families getting what amounted to life sentences. By the turn of the century, RICO cases resulted in virtually all of the top leaders of the New York Mafia being sent to prison.

State laws

Beginning in 1972, 33 states, as well as Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands, adopted state RICO laws to cover additional state offenses under a similar scheme.[7]

RICO predicate offenses

Under the law, the meaning of racketeering activity is set out at 18 U.S.C. § 1961. As currently amended it includes:

Pattern of racketeering activity requires at least two acts of racketeering activity, one of which occurred after the effective date of this chapter and the last of which occurred within ten years (excluding any period of imprisonment) after the commission of a prior act of racketeering activity. The U.S. Supreme Court has instructed federal courts to follow the continuity-plus-relationship test in order to determine whether the facts of a specific case give rise to an established pattern. Predicate acts are related if they “have the same or similar purposes, results, participants, victims, or methods of commission, or otherwise are interrelated by distinguishing characteristics and are not isolated events.” (H.J. Inc. v. Northwestern Bell Telephone Co.) Continuity is both a closed and open ended concept, referring to either a closed period of conduct, or to past conduct that by its nature projects into the future with a threat of repetition.

Application of RICO laws

Although some of the RICO predicate acts are extortion and blackmail, one of the most successful applications of the RICO laws has been the ability to indict and or sanction individuals for their behavior and actions committed against witnesses and victims in alleged retaliation or retribution for cooperating with federal law enforcement or intelligence agencies.

Violations of the RICO laws can be alleged in civil lawsuit cases or for criminal charges. In these instances charges can be brought against individuals or corporations in retaliation for said individuals or corporations working with law enforcement. Further, charges can also be brought against individuals or corporations who have sued or filed criminal charges against a defendant.

Anti-SLAPP (strategic lawsuit against public participation) laws can be applied in an attempt to curb alleged abuses of the legal system by individuals or corporations who use the courts as a weapon to retaliate against whistle blowers, victims, or to silence another’s speech. RICO could be alleged if it can be shown that lawyers and/or their clients conspired and collaborated to concoct fictitious legal complaints solely in retribution and retaliation for themselves having been brought before the courts.

Although the RICO laws may cover drug trafficking crimes in addition to other more traditional RICO predicate acts such as extortion, blackmail, and racketeering, large-scale and organized drug networks are now commonly prosecuted under the Continuing Criminal Enterprise Statute, also known as the “Kingpin Statute”. The CCE laws target only traffickers who are responsible for long-term and elaborate conspiracies, whereas the RICO law covers a variety of organized criminal behaviors.[8]

Famous cases

Hells Angels Motorcycle Club

In 1979 the United States Federal Government went after Sonny Barger and several members and associates of the Oakland charter of the Hells Angels using RICO. In United States vs. Barger, the prosecution team attempted to demonstrate a pattern of behavior to convict Barger and other members of the club of RICO offenses related to guns and illegal drugs. The jury acquitted Barger on the RICO charges with a hung jury on the predicate acts: “There was no proof it was part of club policy, and as much as they tried, the government could not come up with any incriminating minutes from any of our meetings mentioning drugs and guns.”[9][10]

Frank Tieri

On November 21, 1980, Genovese crime family boss Frank “Funzi” Tieri was the first Mafia boss to be convicted under the RICO Act.[citation needed]

Catholic sex abuse cases

In some jurisdictions, RICO suits have been filed against Catholic dioceses, using anti-racketeering laws to prosecute the highers-up in the episcopacy for abuses committed by those under their authority[citation needed]. E.g. a Cleveland grand jury cleared two bishops of racketeering charges, finding that their mishandling of sex abuse claims did not amount to criminal racketeering[citation needed]. Notably, a similar suit was not filed against Cardinal Bernard Law, then Archbishop/Emeritus of Boston, prior to his assignment to Vatican City.[11][12] In 2016, RICO charges were considered for cover-ups in Pennsylvania.[13]

Gil Dozier

Louisiana Commissioner of Agriculture and Forestry Gil Dozier, in office from 1976 to 1980, faced indictment with violations of both the Hobbs and the RICO laws. He was accused of compelling companies doing business with his department to make campaign contributions on his behalf. On September 23, 1980, the Baton Rouge-based United States District Court for the Middle District of Louisiana convicted Dozier of five counts of extortion and racketeering. The sentence of ten years imprisonment, later upgraded to eighteen when other offenses were determined, and a $25,000 fine was suspended pending appeal, and Dozier remained free on bail.[14] He eventually served nearly four years until a presidential commutation freed him in 1986.[15]

Key West PD

About June 1984 the Key West Police Department located in the County of Monroe, Florida, was declared a criminal enterprise under the federal RICO statutes after a lengthy United States Department of Justice investigation. Several high-ranking officers of the department, including Deputy Police Chief Raymond Cassamayor, were arrested on federal charges of running a protection racket for illegal cocaine smugglers.[16] At trial, a witness testified he routinely delivered bags of cocaine to the Deputy Chief’s office at City Hall.[17]

Michael Milken

On 29 March 1989 American financier Michael Milken was indicted on 98 counts of racketeering and fraud relating to an investigation into an allegation of insider trading and other offenses. Milken was accused of using a wide-ranging network of contacts to manipulate stock and bond prices. It was one of the first occasions that a RICO indictment was brought against an individual with no ties to organized crime. Milken pleaded guilty to six lesser felonies of securities fraud and tax evasion rather than risk spending the rest of his life in prison and ended up serving 22 months in prison. Milken was also ordered banned for life from the securities industry.[18]

On 7 September 1988, Milken’s employer, Drexel Burnham Lambert, was threatened with RICO charges respondeat superior, the legal doctrine that corporations are responsible for their employees’ crimes. Drexel avoided RICO charges by entering an Alford plea to lesser felonies of stock parking and stock manipulation. In a carefully worded plea, Drexel said it was “not in a position to dispute the allegations” made by the Government. If Drexel had been indicted under RICO statutes, it would have had to post a performance bond of up to $1 billion to avoid having its assets frozen. This would have taken precedence over all of the firm’s other obligations—including the loans that provided 96 percent of its capital base. If the bond ever had to be paid, its shareholders would have been practically wiped out. Since banks will not extend credit to a firm indicted under RICO, an indictment would have likely put Drexel out of business.[19] By at least one estimate, a RICO indictment would have destroyed the firm within a month.[20] Years later, Drexel president and CEO Fred Joseph said that Drexel had no choice but to plead guilty because “a financial institution cannot survive a RICO indictment.”[21]

Major League Baseball

In 2002, the former minority owners of the Montreal Expos baseball team filed charges under the RICO Act against Major League Baseball commissioner Bud Selig and former Expos owner Jeffrey Loria, claiming that Selig and Loria deliberately conspired to devaluethe team for personal benefit in preparation for a move.[22] If found liable, Major League Baseball could have been responsible for up to $300 million in punitive damages. The case lasted two years, successfully stalling the Expos’ move to Washington or contraction during that time. It was eventually sent to arbitration where the arbiters ruled in favor of Major League Baseball,[23] permitting the move to Washington to take place.

Pro-life activists

RICO laws were successfully cited in NOW v. Scheidler, 510 U.S. 249, 114 S. Ct. 798, 127 L.Ed. 2d 99 (1994), a suit in which certain parties, including the National Organization for Women, sought damages and an injunction against pro-life activists who physically block access to abortion clinics. The Court held that a RICO enterprise does not need an economic motive, and that the Pro-Life Action Network could therefore qualify as a RICO enterprise. The Court remanded for consideration of whether PLAN committed the requisite acts in a pattern of racketeering activity.

Los Angeles Police Department

In April 2000, federal judge William J. Rea in Los Angeles, ruling in one Rampart scandal case, said that the plaintiffs could pursue RICO claims against the LAPD, an unprecedented finding. The idea that a police organization could be characterized as a racketeering enterprise shook up City Hall and further damaged the already-tarnished image of the LAPD. However, in July 2001, U.S. District Judge Gary A. Feess said that the plaintiffs do not have standing to sue the LAPD under RICO because they are alleging personal injuries, rather than economic or property damage.[24]

Mohawk Industries

On April 26, 2006, the Supreme Court heard Mohawk Industries, Inc. v. Williams, No. 05-465547 U.S. 516 (2006), which concerned what sort of corporations fell under the scope of RICO. Mohawk Industries had allegedly hired illegal aliens, in violation of RICO. The court was asked to decide whether Mohawk Industries, along with recruiting agencies, constitutes an ‘enterprise’ that can be prosecuted under RICO, but in June of that year dismissed the case and remanded it to Court of Appeals.[25]

Latin Kings

On August 20, 2006, in Tampa, Florida, most of the state leadership members of the street gang, the Latin Kings, were arrested in connection with RICO conspiracy charges to engage in racketeering and currently await trial. The operation, called “Broken Crown”, targeted statewide leadership of the Latin Kings. The raid occurred at the Caribbean American Club. Along with Hillsborough County Sheriff’s OfficeTampa Police Department, the State Attorney’s Office, the FBIImmigration and Customs Enforcement, and the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms were involved in the operation. Included in the arrest were leader Gilberto Santana from Brooklyn NY, Captain Luis Hernandez from Miami FL, Affiliate Celina Hernandez, Affiliate Michael Rocca, Affiliate Jessica Ramirez, Affiliate Reinaldo Arroyo, Affiliate Samual Alvarado, Omari Tolbert, Edwin DeLeon, and many others, totaling 39.

Gambino crime family

Also, in Tampa, on October 16, 2006, four members of the Gambino crime family (Capo Ronald Trucchio, Terry Scaglione, Steven Catallono, Anthony Mucciarone and associate Kevin McMahon) were tried under RICO statutes, found guilty and sentenced to life in prison.

Lucchese Crime Family

In the mid 1990s, prosecuting attorneys Gregory O’Connell and Charles Rose used RICO charges to bring down the Lucchese family within an 18-month period. Dismantling the Lucchese family had a profound financial impact on previously Mafia held businesses such as construction, garment, and garbage hauling. Here they dominated and extorted money through taxes, dues, and fees. An example of this extortion was through the garbage business. Hauling of garbage from the World Trade Center cost the building owners $1.2 million per year to be removed when the Mafia monopolized the business, as compared to $150,000 per year when competitive bids could be sought.[26]

Chicago Outfit

[citation needed]

In 2005, the U.S. Department of Justice‘s Operation Family Secrets indicted 15 Chicago Outfit (also known as the Outfit, the Chicago Mafia, the Chicago Mob, or The Organization) members and associates under RICO predicates. Five defendants were convicted of RICO violations and other crimes. Six plead guilty, two died before trial and one was too sick to be tried.

Michael Conahan and Mark Ciavarella

A federal grand jury in the Middle District of Pennsylvania handed down a 48-count indictment against former Luzerne County Court of Common Pleas Judges Michael Conahan and Mark Ciavarella.[27] The judges were charged with RICO after allegedly committing acts of mail and wire fraudtax evasionmoney laundering, and honest services fraud. The judges were accused of taking kickbacks for housing juveniles, that the judges convicted of mostly petty crimes, at a private detention center. The incident was dubbed by many local and national newspapers as the “Kids for cash scandal“.[28] On February 18, 2011, a federal jury found Michael Ciavarella guilty of racketeering because of his involvement in accepting illegal payments from Robert Mericle, the developer of PA Child Care, and Attorney Robert Powell, a co-owner of the facility. Ciavarella is facing 38 other counts in federal court.[29]

Scott W. Rothstein

Scott W. Rothstein is a disbarred lawyer and the former managing shareholder, chairman, and chief executive officer of the now-defunct Rothstein Rosenfeldt Adler law firm. He was accused of funding his philanthropy, political contributions, law firm salaries, and an extravagant lifestyle with a massive 1.2 billion dollar Ponzi scheme. On December 1, 2009, Rothstein turned himself in to federal authorities and was subsequently arrested on charges related to RICO.[30] Although his arraignment plea was not guilty, Rothstein cooperated with the government and reversed his plea to guilty of five federal crimes on January 27, 2010. Bond was denied by U.S. Magistrate Judge Robin Rosenbaum, who ruled that due to his ability to forge documents, he was considered a flight risk.[31] On June 9, 2010, Rothstein received a 50-year prison sentence after a hearing in federal court in Fort Lauderdale.[32]

AccessHealthSource

Eleven defendants were indicted on RICO charges for allegedly assisting AccessHealthSource, a local health care provider, in obtaining and maintaining lucrative contracts with local and state government entities in the city of El Paso, Texas, “through bribery of and kickbacks to elected officials or himself and others, extortion under color of authority, fraudulent schemes and artifices, false pretenses, promises and representations and deprivation of the right of citizens to the honest services of their elected local officials” (see indictment).[33]

FIFA

Fourteen defendants affiliated with FIFA were indicted under the RICO act on 47 counts for “racketeering, wire fraud and money laundering conspiracies, among other offenses, in connection with the defendants’ participation in a 24-year scheme to enrich themselves through the corruption of international soccer.” The defendants include many current and former high-ranking officers of FIFA and its affiliate CONCACAF. The defendants had allegedly used the enterprise as a front to collect millions of dollars in bribes which may have influenced Russia and Qatar’s winning bids to host the 2018 and 2022 FIFA World Cups respectively.[34]

Drummond Company

In 2015, the Drummond Company sued attorneys Terrence P. Collingsworth and William R. Scherer, the advocacy group International Rights Advocates (IRAdvocates), and Dutch businessman Albert van Bilderbeek, one of the owners of Llanos Oil, accusing them of violating RICO by alleging that Drummond had worked alongside Autodefensas Unidas de Colombia to murder labor union leaders within proximity of their Colombian coal mines, which Drummond denies.[35]

Connecticut Senator Len Fasano

In 2005, a federal jury ordered Fasano to pay $500,000 under RICO for illegally helping a client hide their assets in a bankruptcy case.[36]

Art Cohen vs. Donald J. Trump

Art Cohen vs. Donald J. Trump was a RICO[37] class action suit filed October 18, 2013,[38] accusing Donald Trump of misrepresenting Trump University “to make tens of millions of dollars” but delivering “neither Donald Trump nor a university.”[37] The case was being heard in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California in San Diego, No. 3:2013cv02519,[39] by Judge Gonzalo P. Curiel.[38] It was scheduled for argument beginning November 28, 2016.[40] However, just 20 days before that date and shortly after Trump won the presidential election, this case and two others were settled for a total of $25 million and without any admission of wrongdoing by Trump.[41][42]

International equivalents to RICO

The US RICO legislation has other equivalents in the rest of the world. In spite of Interpol having a standardized definition of RICO-like crimes, the interpretation and national implementation in legislation (and enforcement) widely varies. Most nations cooperate with the US on RICO enforcement only where their own related laws are specifically broken, but this is in line with the Interpol protocols for such matters.

By nation, alphabetically

Without other nations enforcing similar legislation to RICO many cross border RICO cases would not be possible. In the overall body of RICO cases that went to trial, at least 50% have had some non-US enforcement component to them. The offshoring of money away from the US finance system as part racketeering (and especially money laundering) is typically a major contributing factor to this.

However, other countries have laws that enable the government to seize property with unlawful origins. Mexico and Colombia both have specific laws that define the participation in criminal organizations as a separate crime,[45] and separate laws that allow the seizure of goods related with these crimes.[46] This latter provides a specific chapter titled “International Cooperation”, which instructs Mexican authorities to cooperate with foreign authorities with respect to organized crime assets within Mexico, and provides the framework by which Mexican authorities may politely request the cooperation of foreign authorities with respect to assets located outside of Mexico, in terms of any international instruments they may be party to.

Arguably, this may be construed as allowing the application of the RICO Act in Mexico, provided the relevant international agreements exist among Mexico and countries with RICO or RICO-equivalent provisions.

See also

References

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Image result for president trump addresses the united nationsThe earthquake struck 5 miles southeast of Atencingo in the central state of Puebla at a depth of 32 miles

 

NASA News, Sep 19, 2017

 

Story 1: President Trump United Nations Speech Names North Korea and Iran As Threats to World Peace and Critical of Those Nations (China) Who Trade With Them — Totally Destroy North Korea And The Rocket Man Mr. Kim — Videos —

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Donald Trump says U.S. will ‘totally destroy’ North Korea if they are forced to defend themselves

President Trump addresses the United Nations (entire speech)

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PRESIDENT TRUMP ADDRESSES UN GENERAL ASSEMBLY 9/19/17 | Fox News September 19, 2017

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Kim Jong-Un IS ‘The Rocket Man’

 

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Image result for branco cartoons rocket man kim jung un

Image result for branco cartoons rocket man kim jung un

 

Trump On North Korea: ‘Rocket Man Is On A Suicide Mission’

President Donald Trump‘s first address to the United Nations General Assembly was marked by tough talk for North Korea and Iran.

The president referred to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un as “rocket man” and threatened to “totally destroy North Korea” if the United States is forced to defend itself or allies against the North’s aggression.

“The United States has great strength and patience, but if it is forced to defend itself or its allies, we will have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea,” Trump said Tuesday. “Rocket Man is on a suicide mission for himself and for his regime. The United States is ready, willing, and able, but hopefully this will not be necessary.”

The UN secretary general warned UN members Tuesday morning that the threat of a nuclear attack is at its highest level since the end of the Cold War, and that fiery talk can lead to fatal misunderstandings, CBS2’s Alice Gainer reported.

At the Pentagon, U.S. Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis was asked about the president’s new nickname for Kim Jong Un.

“We’re dealing with the North Korea situation through the international processes, and we will continue to do so with Secretary Tillerson leading the effort,” he said. “We will hopefully get this resolved through diplomatic means.”

Trump also slammed the Iranian government, calling it an “economically depleted rogue state” whose chief export is violence.

Questioning the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran, Trump said the world cannot allow the “murderous regime” to continue its destabilizing activities while building dangerous missiles. He added world leaders “cannot abide” by the agreement if it “provides cover” for Iran to eventually build its nuclear program.

“The Iran deal was one of the worst and most one-sided transactions the United States has ever entered into. Frankly, that deal is an embarrassment to the United States, and I don’t think you’ve heard the last of it, believe me. It is time for the entire world to join us in demanding that Iran’s government end its pursuit of death and destruction,” Trump said.

French President Emmanuel Macron said that scrapping the deal would be a big mistake.

“I think that it’s better than nothing,” he said.

Iran’s president hasn’t given any specifics about how the country would react to a withdrawal.

“Given that Mr. Trump’s reactions and actions and policies are somewhat unpredictable, we have had long thought and discussions about our reactions,” President Hassan Rouhani said.

During his more than 40-minute inaugural address to the UN General Assembly, Trump said that he will “always put America first” and the U.S. can no longer be taken advantage of in its dealings around the globe.

Trump said he will “defend America’s interests above all else.” He says the U.S. will “forever be a great friend to the world,” including its allies, but the U.S. can no longer be taken advantage of and get nothing in return.

But Trump said that UN member states should unite to face global dangers, and rallied other countries to do their part in solving global issues, including sharing the burden of fighting terrorism.

“We live in a time of extraordinary opportunity… but each day also brings news of growing dangers that threaten everything we cherish and value,” Trump said. “Terrorists and extremists have gathered strength and spread to every region of the planet. Rogue regimes represented in this body not only support terrorists but threaten other nations and their own people with the most destructive weapons known to humanity.”

“To put it simply, we meet at a time of both immense promise and great peril,” Trump said. “It is entirely up to us whether we lift the world to new heights or let it fall into a valley of disrepair.”

The president talked tough on terror saying “it is time to expose and hold responsible” nations that provide funding and safe harbor to terror groups. He says all responsible nations must work together to confront terrorists and “the Islamic extremist that inspires them.”

“We will stop radical Islamic terrorism, because we cannot allow it to tear up our nation and, indeed, to tear up the entire world,” said the president.

The leaders of Russia and China, among others, were not in attendance. Trump did not mention Russia in his speech, but he will meet with Russia’s foreign minister and host a reception for UN leaders Tuesday night.

After his address, Trump went to a luncheon where he gave a toast, admittedly calling himself a critic of the UN for years.

“To the potential — the great, great potential — of the United Nations. Thank you all for being here,” he said.

More: UN General Assembly Street Closures

In his first appearance at the United Nations on Monday, Trump made a call for sweeping reforms.

“In recent years, the United Nations has not reached its full potential because of bureaucracy and mismanagement,” Trump said.

The U.S. is the UN’s largest contributor, paying at least 25 percent of the operating budget. The president encouraged other nations to consider joining in, reviewing the UN’s spending and efficiency.

“I think the main message is ‘Make the United Nations great,’ not again, ‘Make the United Nations great.’ Such tremendous potential and I think we’ll be able to do this,” Trump said.

“Major portions of the world are in conflict and some in fact are going to hell, but the powerful people in this room, under the guidance and auspices of the United Nations can solve many of these vicious and complex problems,” Trump said. “The American people hope that one day soon the United Nations can be a much more accountable and effective advocate for human dignity and freedom around the world.”

North Korea was a major conversation point in Monday’s phone call with China’s president. Trump also met with French President Emanuel Macron and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu focused on Iran.

Dinner with Latin American leaders was centered around trade and instability in Venezuela, which Trump addressed during his speech Tuesday.

“The Venezuelan people are starving, and their country is collapsing, their Democratic institutions are being destroyed,” Trump said. “This situation is completely unacceptable and we cannot stand by and watch. As a responsible neighbor and friend, we and all others have a goal — that goal is to help them regain their freedom, recover their country and restore their democracy.”

Trump accused its President Nicolas Maduro of stealing power from elected representatives to preserve his “disastrous rule.”

There is no sign that Trump will falter on his choice to withdraw from the Paris Climate Accord unless it is renegotiated, which will likely be a major topic this week.

Trump On North Korea: ‘Rocket Man Is On A Suicide Mission’

Story 2: Major 7.1 Richter Scale Killer Earthquake Hits Central Mexico — 76 Miles Southwest of Mexico City Centered in Puebla state town of Raboso,  — Damages and Collapses Buildings — Over 150 Deaths — Videos —

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Raw: Mexico Quake Death Toll Continues to Rise

Powerful earthquake strikes Mexico

RAW VIDEO: Terrified Mexicans Run From Crumbling Buildings – Mexico Earthquake

Powerful 7.1 Earthquake Strikes Mexico | Los Angeles Times

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*BIG QUAKE* Rocks Mexico – Large 7.1 South of Mexico City – Buildings Collapsed

Mexico 7.1 Earthquake: ‘Absolutely Horrific Images’ | MSNBC

Major Earthquake Hits Mexico City. 7.1 Magnitude!

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More info and Footage on Mexico City Earthquake!

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MEXICO CITY HIT BY MAGNITUDE 7.1 EARTHQUAKE ( REAL FOOTAGE )

[youtub3e=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YOvM4dQ5kM4]

Special Report: Deadly Earthquake Hits Central Mexico | NBC News

LIVE 🔴 Mexico 7.1 Earthquake 🔴 LIVE COVERAGE Hurricane MARIA Tracking CATEGORY 5 UPDATES 24/7

Crisis in Mexico’s MEGACITY

 

Mexico City hit by deadly 7.1 magnitude earthquake on anniversary of 1985 disaster

Rescuers search through rubble after the city is struck on the anniversary of a 1985 quake that killed thousands of people.

Rescuers frantically try to move rubble after the 7.1 magnitude quake
Image:Rescuers frantically try to move rubble after the 7.1 magnitude quake 

A major earthquake has struck central Mexico, with reports that at least 134 people have been killed and thousands forced on to the streets.

Panicked workers fled from office buildings and clouds of dust rose up from the crumbling facades of damaged buildings after the 7.1 magnitude quake struck.

The tremors came hours after preparation drills were held on the anniversary of a devastating 1985 earthquake that killed more than 5,000 people in the city.

Police try to clear the area around a collapsed building in Mexico City
Image:Police try to clear the area around a collapsed building in Mexico City

At least 30 people had died in the capital, while there were reports of people trapped in collapsed and burning buildings and local TV footage showed rescuers frantically trying to dig into rubble with pickaxes.

Speaking minutes after the earthquake struck, resident Georgina Sanchez sobbed: “I’m so worried. I can’t stop crying. It’s the same nightmare as in 1985.”

https://www.instagram.com/p/BZO_UM9lvbH/embed/?cr=1&v=7&wp=538#%7B%22ci%22%3A0%2C%22os%22%3A314.25000000000006%7D

Gala Dluzhynska said she was taking a class with 11 other women on the second floor of a building in the fashionable Alvaro Obregon street area when window and ceiling panels fell as the building began to tear apart.

She said she fell in the stairs and people began to walk over her, before someone finally pulled her up.

“There were no stairs anymore. There were rocks,” she said.

Rescuers, firefighters, policemen, soldiers and volunteers remove rubble and debris from a flattened building in search of survivors after a powerful quake in Mexico City on September 19, 2017
Image:Firefighters, police, soldiers and volunteers have come together in an effort to rescue survivors

The US Geological Survey said the quake was centred near Raboso in Puebla state, 76 miles (123km) southeast of Mexico City.

A civil protection official in Puebla said two people had been killed after a school collapsed, while Mexico state’s governor confirmed eight deaths, including a quarry worker killed by a rockslide and another victim hit by a falling lamppost.

Officials asked people not to smoke in the streets of Mexico City – which has a population of 20 million – warning of possible ruptured gas pipes.

Mexico City International Airport suspended operations, while electricity and phone lines were down in parts of the capital.

“We got out really fast, leaving everything as it was and just left,” said Rosaura Suarez, as she stood with a crowd on the street.

Alfredo Aguilar, 43, said the quake was “really strong – buildings started to move”.

He added that he saw a woman fainting as “people started to run.”

Rescuers display a placard reading 'Silence' as they hurry to free possible victims out of the rubble of a collapsed building after a quake rattled Mexico City on September 19, 2017
Image:Rescuers call for ‘Silence’ as they try to find victims in the rubble

The earthquake came less than two weeks after an 8.1 magnitude tremor in southern Mexico killed at least 98 people.

Mexico’s President Enrique Pena Nieto was on a flight to Oaxaca – one of the areas hardest hit by the previous quake – on Tuesday.

He tweeted that he would be returning to Mexico City as soon as possible to deal with the emergency.

http://news.sky.com/story/mexico-city-hit-by-71-magnitude-earthquake-on-anniversary-of-1985-disaster-11043859

 

At least five dead’ after 7.1-magnitude earthquake rocks Mexico City – shaking buildings and sending people fleeing into the street

  • Tremor hit hours after emergency drills around the nation on the anniversary of another devastating quake
  • Horrifying images coming out of country’s capital show rubble and chunks of buildings strewn across roads
  • Local resident Georgina Sanchez said: ‘I’m so worried. I can’t stop crying. It’s the same nightmare as in 1985’

At least five people are dead after a 7.1-magnitude earthquake hit Mexico leaving buildings shaking and sending people fleeing into the street.

The tremor hit just hours after emergency drills around the nation on the anniversary of another devastating quake that killed thousands in Mexico City in 1985.

Today’s quake hit 5 miles southeast of Atencingo in the central state of Puebla at a depth of 32 miles, the US Geological Survey said.

Horrifying images coming out of the country’s capital show rubble strewn across roads and enormous chunks of collapsed buildings laying on the ground with hundreds of terrified locals fleeing onto the streets.

As structures fell around her, local resident Georgina Sanchez, 52, said: ‘I’m so worried. I can’t stop crying. It’s the same nightmare as in 1985.’

It comes just days after a powerful 8.1 quake hit Mexico killing at least 98 people.

At least five people are dead after a 7.1-magnitude earthquake hit Mexico leaving buildings shaking and sending people fleeing into the street.

The tremor hit just hours after emergency drills around the nation on the anniversary of another devastating quake that killed thousands in Mexico City in 1985.

Today’s quake hit 5 miles southeast of Atencingo in the central state of Puebla at a depth of 32 miles, the US Geological Survey said.

Horrifying images coming out of the country’s capital show rubble strewn across roads and enormous chunks of collapsed buildings laying on the ground with hundreds of terrified locals fleeing onto the streets.

As structures fell around her, local resident Georgina Sanchez, 52, said: ‘I’m so worried. I can’t stop crying. It’s the same nightmare as in 1985.’

It comes just days after a powerful 8.1 quake hit Mexico killing at least 98 people.

Horrifying images coming out of the country's capital show rubble strewn across roads and enormous chunks of collapsed buildings laying on the ground with hundreds of terrified locals fleeing onto the streets

This car was left crushed under falling debris during the 7.1-magnitude earthquake

Hospital patients who were evacuated from wards were taken outside in their beds as a safety precaution

As structures fell around her, local resident Georgina Sanchez, 52, said: 'I'm so worried. I can't stop crying. It's the same nightmare as in 1985'

Rescuers are seen working through piles of debris in Mexico City with the help of bystanders

Rescuers are seen working through piles of debris in Mexico City with the help of bystanders

In the capital Mexico City, thousands of people streamed out of buildings into the streets in a panic filling the plaza around the Independence Monument with a mass of people.

Traffic came to a standstill as masses of workers blocked streets while clouds of dust rose from fallen facades.

Office workers were also seen hugging each other to calm themselves.

In the city’s Roma neighborhood small piles of stucco and brick fallen from building facades littered the streets.

Panic in Mexico City as 7.1 earthquake hits capital

The tremor hit just hours after emergency drills around the nation on the anniversary of a devastating quake that killed thousands in Mexico City in 1985

Locals are pictured clearing debris from the earthquake which left dozens of buildings collapsed - with metal and concrete sent falling to the ground

Clouds of dust rose from fallen facades following the dramatic tremor which sent panic throughout the capital city's 20million inhabitants

The impact of the quake ripped buildings to pieces with materials torn from structures by the force of the tremor

Two men calmed a woman, blood trickling form a small wound on her knee, seated on a stool in the street, telling her to breathe deeply.

Lazaro Frutis, a 45-year-old who escaped an office building before it crumpled to the ground, said: ‘We ran outside thinking all was going to collapse around us.

‘The worst thing is, we don’t know about our families or anything.’

At a nearby market, a worker in a hard hat walked around the outside of the building, warning people not to smoke as a smell of cooking gas filled the air.

The earthquake struck 5 miles southeast of Atencingo in the central state of Puebla at a depth of 32 miles

The earthquake struck 5 miles southeast of Atencingo in the central state of Puebla at a depth of 32 miles

It comes just days after a powerful 8.1 quake hit Mexico killing at least 98 people. Locals are pictured helping a woman during today's incident

It comes just days after a powerful 8.1 quake hit Mexico killing at least 98 people. Locals are pictured helping a woman during today’s incident

Office workers huddle as major earthquake shakes Mexico City

Market stall vendor Edith Lopez, 25, was caught up in the quake and said she saw glass bursting out of the windows of some buildings.

Mexico City’s international airport suspended operations with personnel checking the structures for damage. It is not immediately clear how many flights have been affected.

Earlier this month, an 8.1 magnitude quake struck off the coast of Chiapas killing at least 98 people.

Streams of smoke were seen streaming from piles of collapsed buildings in the capital Mexico City

Streams of smoke were seen streaming from piles of collapsed buildings in the capital Mexico City

Mexicans were left shocked as the quake struck just hours after emergency drills

The hardest-hit area was Juchitan, Oaxaca, where a third of the city’s homes collapsed or were uninhabitable.

The remains of brick walls and clay tile roofs cluttered streets as families dragged mattresses on to pavements to spend another anxious night sleeping outdoors.

Members of the ‘Topos’ (Moles) specialised rescue team dug through piles of debris looking for folk’s loved ones and hoping to find some that were still alive.

People fled for their lives after the earthquake struck the capital Mexico City

People fled for their lives after the earthquake struck the capital Mexico City

Today's quake hit 5 miles southeast of Atencingo in the central state of Puebla at a depth of 32 miles, the US Geological Survey said

Today’s quake hit 5 miles southeast of Atencingo in the central state of Puebla at a depth of 32 miles, the US Geological Survey said

Soldiers of the Army and Navy also joined in on the search and rescue, hoping to locate the bodies still missing in the wreckage.

Pena Nieto declared three days of national mourning when he first broke numbers on the deaths associated with the earthquake

The epicenter of the earthquake was 123km southwest of the town of Pijijiapan.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4900334/Strong-7-4-quake-hits-Mexico-anniversary-deadly-1985-tremor.html#ixzz4tA0OWmRB

 

Mexico City airport suspends operations following 7.1 magnitude earthquake

MGN
By Associated Press |
 
MEXICO CITY (AP) – The Latest on the strong earthquake that hit Mexico City (all times local):

2:55 a.m.

Mexico City’s international airport says it has suspended operations due to the magnitude 7.1 quake that shook the central part of the country.

The airport says in a tweet that airport personnel are checking the structures for damage. It’s not immediately clear how many flights have been affected.

The U.S. Geological Survey said the quake was centered near the Puebla state town of Raboso, about 76 miles (123 kilometers) southeast of Mexico City.

___

2:45 p.m.

Mexican television stations are showing dramatic images a several story building collapsing following a magnitude 7.1 earthquake that rattled the center of the country. It was unclear if people were inside the building.

Numerous other buildings collapsed or suffered serious damage across central Mexico in Tuesday’s quake.

The U.S. Geological Survey said the quake had a magnitude of 7.1 and was centered near the Puebla state town of Raboso, about 76 miles (123 kilometers) southeast of Mexico City.

2:20 p.m.

Mexican television stations are broadcasting images of collapsed buildings in heavily populated parts of the city following Tuesday’s magnitude 7.1 earthquake. Televisa broadcast images of a plume of smoke rising from one large structure.

One of the collapsed buildings is a large parking garage alongside a hospital.

There are no immediate reports on casualties.

___

2:10 p.m.

Puebla Gov. Tony Gali says buildings have been damaged in his state in central Mexico by a magnitude 7.1 earthquake.

Gali said on his official Twitter account that “we will continue reviewing” damages and urged people to follow emergency procedures.

“What we have reports of is material damage … we have no reports of deaths so far,” tweeted Puebla Interior Secretary Diodoro Carrasco.

He said the towers of some churches have fallen in the city of Cholula, which is famous for its many churches.

The U.S. Geological Survey said the quake had a magnitude of 7.1 and was centered near the Puebla state town of Raboso, about 76 miles (123 kilometers) southeast of Mexico City.

___

2 p.m.

On Mexico City’s main boulevard, thousands of people streamed out of buildings into the streets in a panic, filling the plaza around the Independence Monument with a mass of people.

Office workers hugged each other to calm themselves.

In the city’s Roma neighborhood, which was struck hard by the 85 quake, small piles of stucco and brick fallen from building facades littered the streets.

Two men calmed a woman, blood trickling form a small wound on her knee, seated on a stool in the street, telling her to breathe deeply.

At a nearby market, a worker in a hard hat walked around the outside of the building, warning people not to smoke as a smell of cooking gas filled the air.

Market stall vendor Edith Lopez, 25, had been in a taxi a few blocks away when the quake struck. She said she saw glass bursting