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Clinton charity, Russian atomic energy agency in focus

Hillary and Bill Clinton hold up steaks at 37th Harkin Steak Fry in Indianola, Iowa, in September 2014 file photo

REUTERS

As Russia's atomic energy agency slowly took over a Canadian company that controls a-fifth of United States uranium production capacity, donations flowed from Canadian executives who headed the company to former President Bill Clinton's foundation, The New York Times reports.

The sale of the company had to be approved by several U.S. government entities, including the State Department when it was headed by former first lady Hillary Clinton, who is now running again for the office her husband once held, the Times points out.

The agency, Rosatom, gained control of Uranium One in Janury 2013, the newspaper says.

"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 ... built, financed and eventually sold off to the Russians a company that would become known as Uranium One," the Times explains.

As Moscow took over Uranium One in deals made from 2009 to 2013, "a flow of cash made its way to the Clinton Foundation," the Times reports, citing Canadian records.

Among the contributions: four from Uranium One's chairman's family foundation totaling $2.35 million, the Times says. "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," the newspaper adds.

"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," the Times reports.

"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," according to the Times.

The newspaper says it's not known what if any role the donations played in the green-lighting of the uranium deal.

The foundation and its donors list have come under intense scrutiny in recent weeks. Republican critics charge that the charity makes Hillary Clinton vulnerable to undue influence, which her campaign vigorously denies.

In a statement to the Times, 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. ... 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."

The Times says, "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. Schweitzer provided a preview of material in the book to The Times, which scrutinized his information and built upon it with its own reporting."