Fox News anchor Shepard Smith is in hot water with some viewers after he took a stand against the popular theory among his Fox colleagues that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton may have broken the law by authorizing sales of an American uranium mining company in exchange for sizeable donations to her husband's foundation.
A number of Republican lawmakers have called to form a special counsel to look into the connection between the Clinton Foundation donations and the State Department approving a deal alongside President Barack Obama's administration, which authorized a Russian company to buy a uranium mining group from Canada that primarily works out the the U.S., notes The Washington Post.
President Donald Trump, his associates and many of the people at Fox News have echoed concerns about these connections, with Trump comparing it to a modern-day Watergate scandal.
"Hillary Clinton's State Department approved the transfer of 20 percent of America's uranium holdings to Russia, while nine investors in the deal funneled $145 million to the Clinton Foundation," Trump said on the campaign trail in June 2016, according to CNN.
Smith sought to debunk the idea, calling it "inaccurate in a number of ways."
"The accusation is predicated on the charge that Secretary Clinton approved the sale," Smith said, notes The Washington Post. "She did not. 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."
Smith went on to add that "the Clinton State Department had no power to veto or approve that transaction" due to the many other departments involved. Furthermore, Frank Giustra, the founder of the Canadian company, made most of the donations that conservatives are scrutinizing, but he reportedly sold his share of the company in 2007, three years before the deal and a year and a half before Clinton entered the State Department, Smith explained.
The allegations were first leveled by Breitbart editor-at-large Peter Schweizer in his 2015 book "Clinton Cash" but have picked up steam again after Trump and others renewed calls for a federal investigation into the matter.
It is unknown whether going against the popular view on his network will ultimately cost him viewers, although some have been speaking out against him on social media, with many calling for a boycott until the network fires him.
"Get Shepard Smith off of Fox," one Twitter user wrote. "He's arrogant and doing his own spin. Nobody knows how deep the left's conspiracy goes and Shepherd Smith has ZERO inside info because nobody trusts him. OUT!"
Sean Hannity, another host at Fox News, said that he "vehemently" disagrees with Smith's take, notes The Hill.
"Shep is a friend, I like him, but he's so anti-Trump," said Hannity, who typically sides with the president. "He went off on a rant last week. That's fine, but [the opinion is] different."