Screengrab via MediaWatch/YouTube

This sparked a strong reaction.

Fox News host Shepard Smith tore down the conservative argument that the so-called Uranium One deal was worthy of investigation by a special counsel, and the conservative television network’s viewers are not happy about it.

On Tuesday, Smith dedicated a portion of his show to digging into the deal, which was completed in 2010, and the way some conservatives—including lawmakers—are clamoring for the Justice Department to appoint a new special counsel to investigate it.

The conspiracy theories around the Uranium One deal are nothing new. President Donald Trump and his allies have brought up the deal for months, alleging some sort of link between the completion of the deal and donations to the Clinton Foundation since it took place during Hillary Clinton‘s tenure as secretary of state.

The deal allowed for a Russian company to purchase a Canada-based company that mined uranium in the United States. Some conservatives—including Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas), who used a bizarre chart to try and explain his conspiracy theory during a House Judiciary Committee hearing with Attorney General Jeff Sessions—believe the deal is worthy of further investigation despite no evidence of any wrongdoing.

The Uranium One deal caught new fire as Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election and the country’s possible ties to the Trump campaign began to gain steam last month when three members of the campaign were handed various charges. Mueller served as FBI director in 2010.

Smith used the fervor on Tuesday, which included a call from conservative lawmakers to appoint a special counsel to investigate the deal, to throw cold water on any hopes of catching Clinton or others in the former Obama administration in a grand Russia scheme.

Sessions said during Tuesday’s hearing that he would need a “factual basis” to seek a special counsel to investigate the deal but has not found such justification. Smith used this as an opening to dismantle the right-wing theory.

Smith called Trump’s accusations against Clinton and Uranium One “inaccurate in a number of ways.”

“The accusation is predicated on the charge that Secretary Clinton approved the sale. She did not,” Smith said. “A committee of nine evaluated the sale, the president approved the sale, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and others had to offer permits, and none of the uranium was exported for use by the U.S. to Russia. That is Uranium One.”

Smith’s take-down of the deal did not sit well with Fox’s viewers.

Andrew Wyrich

Andrew Wyrich

Andrew Wyrich is a politics staff writer for the Daily Dot, covering the intersection of politics and the internet. Andrew has written for USA Today, NorthJersey.com, and other newspapers and websites. His work has been recognized by the Society of the Silurians, Investigative Reporters & Editors (IRE), and the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ).

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