NPR’s Robert Siegel speaks with Jo Becker of The New York Times about Russia’s foray into the U.S. uranium market and how the Clinton Foundation may have facilitated and benefited from it.
BECKER: Right. When Hillary Clinton became Secretary of State, the Obama White House asked her to sign a memorandum of understanding because Bill Clinton was going to continue to raise money for his foundation. And part of the memorandum of understanding was that she would disclose all donations. The other part of it was that they wouldn’t take foreign donations while she was Secretary of State. And she’s now saying that they won’t take foreign donations if she becomes president, but what the story really underscores is sort of the special challenges when you have a foundation that’s raising money from foreign interests that couldn’t contribute, by the way, to an American political campaign, but can to these kinds of foundations.
SIEGEL: There’s also the eye-popping $500,000 speaking fee that Bill Clinton received in Russia. What is the connection, if any, to the entire uranium mine acquisition?
BECKER: Yeah. That was paid by Renaissance Capital, an investment bank in Russia that has links to the Kremlin. And basically they invited Bill, and Bill gave the speech just after the Russians had announced their desire to acquire this 51-percent stake in this company, but before the U.S. government had signed off.
SIEGEL: You quote Brian Fallon, the spokesman for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, as saying that no one has – this is a quote. “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.” Would you dispute that, or would you have to concede that’s the case?