What Fresh Hell Is This?

May 20, 2015

Who Is Mike Sigov and is he auditioning for Jack Kelly's Post-Gazette job?

Let's start with the first question and I'll leave you to deal with the second amongst yourselves.

So who is he?  At the bottom of a column posted today in the Post-Gazette, we read this:
Mike Sigov, a former Russian journalist, is a U.S. citizen and staff writer for The Blade of Toledo, Ohio (sigov@theblade.com). The Blade and the Post-Gazette are part of the Block NewsAlliance.
So he's at least an employee of the Block family.  If he is next in line for token wingnut columnist at the P-G, at least they already know where to mail the check.

Today at the P-G Sigov's running with this bit of discredited bunk:
Hillary Clinton may have weathered criticism concerning her family’s financing and ethics regarding Russia and uranium, but the worst may be yet to come.
Most voters won’t remember 17 months and two weeks from now that [Clinton] failed to prove that she wasn’t involved in the U.S. government’s approval of the 2010 acquisition of Uranium One by Rosatom, the Russian atomic energy agency, when she was secretary of state. Uranium One controls one-fifth of the U.S. uranium supply.

The problem is that others, including Russian President Vladimir Putin, will.
And that of course will lead to some nasty Putinesque blackmail.

Sigov's source for this story is this:
The story was detailed in an April 24 New York Times article in which Brian Fallon, a spokesman for Ms. Clinton’s presidential campaign, says that 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.”
The Times article leads back to the latest bit of right wing Anti-Clinton "research" - Peter Schweizer's "Clinton Cash" - that's already crumbling under considerable media scrutiny.

The one thing, perhaps, you'll notice when you read Fallon's piece (and this is something I presume he is hoping you didn't do) is a sentence Sigov conveniently left out of his P-G piece.  It's this one:
Whether the donations played any role in the approval of the uranium deal is unknown.
This is curious to me as the sentence that Sigov does quote is from the very next paragraph. So he had to read through the first to get to the second.  Tells you most everything about his piece when you realize what he decided to include and what to leave out.

Indeed Newsweek had this to say two and a half weeks ago about the very "deal" that Sigov is asserting could lead to Putin blackmailing Clinton (or Congress impeaching her):
Schweizer’s style is on display in the first press story to emerge from the book. It appeared in The New York Times, which got early access to Clinton Cash and tasked reporters with investigating Schweizer's claims. In the book, Schweizer alleges that Hillary Clinton, as secretary of state, approved a deal for Russia's nuclear energy agency, Rosatom, to buy Uranium One, which Giustra controlled after UrAsia merged with Uranium One in 2007. The deal, which, according to the Times "gave the Russians control of one-fifth of all uranium production capacity in the United States," required State Department sign-off because uranium, used in the construction of nuclear weapons, is considered a strategic resource.

Schweizer writes that Clinton could have "vetoed" the deal, an assertion the candidate's camp rightly denies: At the time, Clinton sat on the Committee on Foreign Investments in the United States (CFIUS), an interagency group, which according to FactCheck.org "is required by law to investigate all U.S. transactions that involve a company owned or controlled by a foreign government." While CFIUS did indeed review the Uranium One sale, Clinton did not have "veto" power—any one of the nine voting members of the committee can object to a deal, but the president has final say.

Asked by FactCheck to explain, Schweizer said "he meant that Clinton could have forced the issue to the president’s desk."

But if eight other department and agency officials were OK with the deal—not to mention the president—why the implication that Clinton was somehow bought?
And that's at the core of Putin's supposed blackmail.  But if Clinton wasn't bought, then Sigov's entire thought experiment evaporates entirely.

Doesn't it?

I ask this most every time I look at Jack Kelly's "work" at the P-G.  Will we now have to ask the same question of  Mike Sigov?

Didn't anyone fact-check this?

Considering Newsweek already debunked the story more than two weeks ago (on May 1), I would have to say, No, I guess no one did.

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