Sebastian Gorka, President Trump’s former counter-terrorism aide, compared former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to 1950s communist spies Julius and Ethel Rosenberg Thursday for her role in the approval of an international uranium deal.
Speaking on Fox News’ Sean Hannity program, Gorka appeared to suggest that, like the Rosenbergs, who were executed, Clinton, too, should be considered for execution for her part on a nine-person interagency board that approved the sale of a uranium mining company to a Russian firm in 2010.
“The Rosenbergs, okay?” Gorka said on Hannity’s show. “This is equivalent to what the Rosenbergs did, and those people got the chair. Think about it. Giving away nuclear capability to our enemies, that’s what we’re talking about.”
The “Uranium One” deal is named for the Canadian mining company with uranium operations in Wyoming whose sale to Russia’s state-run nuclear energy arm Clinton’s State Department approved in 2010. Its support for the deal was given as part of the department’s role on the interagency Committee for Foreign Investments in the United States. Other members include the departments of Treasury, Defense, Homeland Security, Commerce and Energy.
Some GOP advocates have highlighted the State Department’s approval and attributed it to Clinton as investigations of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election and possible Trump ties to the Russians has intensified. But it is not known if Clinton herself took part in the State Department’s review process.
The allegations were first made in the 2015 book “Clinton Cash,” by Peter Schweitzer, a Breitbart News senior editor-at-large. Schweitzer, together with former Trump White House aide Steve Bannon, is president and co-founder of the Government Accountability Institute. The book documented previously undisclosed donations to the Clinton Foundation by investors in Uranium One. The New York Times and other media organizations subsequently published stories expanding on the book’s premise.
Gorka told Hannity: “If this had happened in the 1950s, there would be people up on treason charges right now.”
The trial, conviction and execution of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg in 1953 was an international controversy and continues to spark debate. The couple, both members of the communist party, were convicted of selling nuclear secrets to the Soviet Union that allegedly helped it develop its own bomb capabilities. President Eisenhower refused entreaties from around the world to commute their execution to life imprisonment. The couple’s Jewish background generated fears within the Jewish community of anti-Semitism.
In the years since then, investigators have brought to light many irregularities in the trial, including ex parte communications between the government prosecutors and the judge. Most investigators today consider Ethel to have been innocent. Some question the actual value of the material that was passed to the Russians.
Larry Cohler-Esses is the Forward’s senior investigative writer. He joined the staff in December 2008. Previously, he served as Editor-at-Large for the Jewish Week, an investigative reporter for the New York Daily News, and as a staff writer for the Jewish Week as well as the Washington Jewish Week. Larry has written extensively on the Arab-Jewish relations both in the United States and the Middle East. His articles have won awards from the Society for Professional Journalists, the Religious Newswriters Association, the New York Press Association and the Rockower Awards for Jewish Journalism, among others. Larry Cohler-Esses can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.