Former Hillary Clinton campaign manager John Podesta claimed Infowars was behind rumors linking him to a Russian-backed company he reportedly owned shares in.
During a lively debate with Fox Business’ Maria Bartiromo Thursday, the former Bill Clinton chief of staff took offense to repeated questioning about his alleged investments in a company tied to Russia.
Scroll to 4:30 for comment.
“The fact that you’re picking through my emails that were stolen by the Russians and released by Wikileaks, and creating a story which is not true is something we had to deal with throughout…” Podesta said, arguing he didn’t receive any shares before divesting from the company.
“I did not have any stock in any Russian company, so go back and get your facts straight, Maria,” a triggered Podesta stated.
“That’s not true John,” Bartiromo shot back. “We know that you owned 75,000 shares, you were on the board of Joule.”
“It’s not a Russian company,” Podesta claimed.
“It’s backed by the Kremlin,” Bartiromo told him.
“I was on the board of an American company that did business here and only here,” Podesta said, adding, “The Russian company had a small investment in that company.”
Bartiromo continued, “Well it’s widely reported that it’s backed by the Kremlin – and they gave you 75,000 shares you had to disclose when you went into the Obama administration.”
“You can keep saying they gave me stock but they didn’t,” a fed up Podesta states.
“I’m just following all the widely reported information here John,” Bartiromo tells him.
“Maria, maybe you’re looking at widely reported information from Infowars,” the former campaign manager stated.
“No I’m not; this is Politico, this is the New York Times, this is the Wall Street Journal,” Bartiromo argued, adding that Hillary Clinton’s $100 million uranium deal with Russia also flew under the radar.
Infowars was in fact reporting assertions made by the author of the book Clinton Cash, Peter Schweizer, who claimed Podesta could have violated federal laws by failing to disclose his investments.
In an interview with Fox & Friends, Schweizer outlined his research into Podesta and his investments.
“In 2011, John Podesta joins the board of this very small energy company called Joule Energy based out of Massachusetts,” Schweizer said. “About two months after he joins the board, a Russian entity called Rusnano puts a billion rubles — which is about 35 million dollars — into John Podesta’s company. Now, what is Rusnano? Rusnano is not a private company, Steve. It is a fund directly funded by the Kremlin. In fact, the Russian science minister called Rusnano Putin’s child. So you have the Russian government investing in one of John Podesta’s businesses in 2011, while he is an advisor to Hillary Clinton at the State Department.”
“Does anyone in Trump’s circle rise to the level where there’s this kind of money involved?” asked host Steve Doocy.
Schweizer answered that he hadn’t seen anything like that yet. “Nobody that has an advisory role in the White House has had this money exchange. And certainly the money hasn’t exchanged as far as we know while they have been advising the president,” he said, pointing out that while he was an advisor in the Obama White House, Podesta owned stock shares with “Putin’s Child” and failed to disclose it.
“So then in 2013, he goes to the White House, to be a special counselor to Barack Obama, and that requires that you, you know, have financial disclosures every year,” he explained. “In his financial disclosure form in 2013, he not only fails to disclose these 75,000 shares of stock that he has in Joule Energy, which is funded in part by the Russian government. He also fails to disclose that he is on one of the three corporate boards that this entity has. It’s got this very complex ownership structure. He discloses he is on the company in Massachusetts, that is he on the board of a company in the Netherlands, but he fails to disclose that he is also on the executive board of the holding company. That’s a clear violation of the disclosure rules that I think needs to be looked at.”
He added, “What makes the Podesta case clear is there was a transfer of money and there was a transfer of a lot of money that stood to make John Podesta a lot of money. That is unique and that’s extremely troubling because at the time that transfer is taking place he is advising Hillary Clinton at the State Department. We know that from the Podesta emails that he is helping her make personnel decisions, speech decisions, policy decisions. He is meeting with her monthly. It’s a transfer of money from a foreign government, at the time that he is advising America’s chief diplomat, Hillary Clinton.”
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