Remember Hillary Clinton’s Russian Reset Button?
Well, the Clintons got donations and speaking fees in the millions of dollars, and the Russians got access to advanced US technology.
But Donald Trump is the problem?
Hillary Clinton touts her tenure as secretary of state as a time of hardheaded realism and “commercial diplomacy” that advanced American national and commercial interests. But her handling of a major technology transfer initiative at the heart of Washington’s effort to “reset” relations with Russia raises serious questions about her record. Far from enhancing American national interests, Mrs. Clinton’s efforts in this area may have substantially undermined U.S. national security.
Consider Skolkovo, an “innovation city” of 30,000 people on the outskirts of Moscow, billed as Russia’s version of Silicon Valley—and a core piece of Mrs. Clinton’s quarterbacking of the Russian reset.
Following his 2009 visit to Moscow, President Obama announced the creation of the U.S.-Russia Bilateral Presidential Commission. Mrs. Clinton as secretary of state directed the American side, and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov represented the Russians. The stated goal at the time: “identifying areas of cooperation and pursuing joint projects and actions that strengthen strategic stability, international security, economic well-being, and the development of ties between the Russian and American people.”
The Kremlin committed $5 billion over three years to fund Skolkovo. Mrs. Clinton’s State Department worked aggressively to attract U.S. investment partners and helped the Russian State Investment Fund, Rusnano, identify American tech companies worthy of Russian investment….
What could possibly go wrong?
Soon, dozens of U.S. tech firms, including top Clinton Foundation donors like Google, Inteland Cisco, made major financial contributions to Skolkovo, with Cisco committing a cool $1 billion. In May 2010, the State Departmentfacilitated a Moscow visit by 22 of the biggest names in U.S. venture capital—and weeks later the first memorandums of understanding were signed by Skolkovo and American companies….
Technology can have multiple uses—civilian and military. But in 2014 the Boston Business Journal ran an op-ed placed by the FBI, and noted that the agency had sent warnings to technology and other companies approached by Russian venture-capital firms. The op-ed—under the byline of Lucia Ziobro, an assistant special agent at the FBI’s Boston office—said that “The FBI believes the true motives of the Russian partners, who are often funded by their government, is to gain access to classified, sensitive, and emerging technology from the companies.”….
Even if it could be proven that these tens of millions of dollars in Clinton Foundation donations by Skolkovo’s key partners played no role in the Clinton State Department’s missing or ignoring obvious red flags about the Russian enterprise, the perception would still be problematic. (Neither the Clinton campaign nor the Clinton Foundation responded to requests for comment.) What is known is that the State Department recruited and facilitated the commitment of billions of American dollars in the creation of a Russian “Silicon Valley” whose technological innovations include Russian hypersonic cruise-missile engines, radar surveillance equipment, and vehicles capable of delivering airborne Russian troops.