The National Post is Canada’s second largest national paper.
A pair of Canadian mining magnates are denying suggestions that they donated to the charitable foundation of former President Bill Clinton and his family to help win U.S. approval to sell a uranium company to Russia.
Frank Giustra said the allegations have nothing to do with him, and are merely an attempt to “tear down” presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and her election campaign. Ian Telfer, meanwhile, said he committed the funds before he ever realized he would do the deal with the Russians.
The New York Times reported on the donations in an explosive article this week. The story involves a former Canadian mining company called Uranium One Inc., in which Giustra and Telfer were two of the key principals.
In 2010, Uranium One began a process to sell itself to Rosatom, a state-controlled nuclear giant in Russia. Uranium One had assets in Kazakhstan and the United States, and multiple U.S. government departments had to sign off on the deal. One of them is the State Department, which was led at the time by Hillary Clinton.
Uranium is considered a strategic resource, and it would be unthinkable today for the U.S. government to consider selling the country’s uranium reserves to Russia. But the Uranium One sale happened prior to Russia’s incursions into Ukraine last year, and Telfer said in an interview that getting it approved did not require lobbying.
“There was no lobbying,” he said.
The Times story noted that between 2009 and 2013, Telfer donated US$2.35 million to Clinton’s foundation. This coincided directly with the period in which Rosatom gradually took control of Uranium One. Telfer was Uranium One’s chairman at the time.
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