Former first lady and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton suggested that 2020 hopeful Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) is a Russian asset, in an interview with Campaign HQ’s podcast. Moreover, Clinton blamed Russia for her failure to win the 2016 election against Donald Trump.
“I’m not making any predictions, but I think the’ve got their eye on somebody who is currently in the Democratic primary and they’re grooming her to be the third party candidate,” Clinton told host David Plouffe.
“She’s a favorite of the Russians. They have a bunch of sites and bots and other ways of supporting her so far and that’s assuming Jill Stein will give it up, which she might not because she is also a Russian asset.”
“They know they can’t win without a third-party candidate, and so I do not know who it is going to be but I can guarantee you they will have a vigorous third-party challenge in the key states that they most need it,” Clinton concluded.
Ahead of this week’s Democratic presidential debate, The New York Times published a piece that painted Gabbard as a tool of the Russians. The paper cited she’s gained support “from online bot activity and the Russian news media.” On the debate stage, Gabbard acknowledged it as a “smear.”
Meanwhile, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard responded with a statement on her tweet, late Friday saying:
Great! Thank you Hillary Clinton,
You, the queen of warmongers, embodiment of corruption, and personification of the rot that has sickened the Democratic Party for so long, have finally come out from behind the curtain.
From the day I announced my candidacy, there has been a concerted campaign to destroy my reputation. We wondered who was behind it and why. Now we know — it was always you, through your proxies and powerful allies in the corporate media and war machine, afraid of the threat I pose.
It’s now clear that this primary is between you and me. Don’t cowardly hide behind your proxies. Join the race directly.
Great! Thank you @HillaryClinton. You, the queen of warmongers, embodiment of corruption, and personification of the rot that has sickened the Democratic Party for so long, have finally come out from behind the curtain. From the day I announced my candidacy, there has been a …
— Tulsi Gabbard (@TulsiGabbard) October 18, 2019