Former Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has accused 2020 Democratic contender Tulsi Gabbard of being “the favourite of the Russians,” appearing to suggest that both Gabbard and former Green Party candidate Jill Stein were ‘Russian assets’.
Speaking to Campaign HQ, a 2020 election podcast, Clinton first claimed that the Republican Party had “got their eye on somebody who’s currently in the Democratic primary and are grooming her to be the third-party candidate,” apparently referring to Gabbard.
This candidate, Clinton said, was "the favourite of the Russians," and "They have a bunch of sites and bots and other ways of supporting her, so far,” the former secretary of state said.
“And that’s assuming Jill Stein will give it up, which she might not because she’s also a Russian asset,” Clinton, who has blamed Stein, Bernie Sanders, the media, Vladimir Putin, male chauvinists, and others for her dramatic loss against Donald Trump in 2016, added.
Gabbard did not immediately respond to Clinton’s claims. However, she did continue her attacks against the 'corporate media' and the DNC on Friday, pointing to alleged unfair treatment of her at the recent debates.
DNC/corporate media claims: ‘we’re not rigging anything.’ Really?— Tulsi Gabbard (@TulsiGabbard) 18 октября 2019 г.
—Vrindavan (Tulsi’s sister)
Speaking time allotted at debates: pic.twitter.com/sR1PC0Bk2H
Online, reporters and Gabbard supporters voiced their disbelief over Clinton's latest claims, suggesting that Gabbard should sue Clinton, and accusing the former secretary of state of giving in to "insane conspiracy theories."
INSANE: Bitter Twice-Failed Presidential Candidate Hillary Clinton Accuses Tulsi Gabbard of Being a 'Russian Asset' https://t.co/B72PRiZcMK— Cassandra Fairbanks🕊✌️ (@CassandraRules) 18 октября 2019 г.
Tulsi Gabbard vs Hillary Clinton is the lawsuit America needs— The Notorious Poso 🇺🇸 (@JackPosobiec) 18 октября 2019 г.
This from a woman who used to complain about the politics of personal destruction. https://t.co/Q2OLSRrl6e— Brit Hume (@brithume) 18 октября 2019 г.
Hillary Clinton has said that Tulsi Gabbard is “a favorite of the Russians.”— Ashley StClair 🇺🇸 (@stclairashley) 18 октября 2019 г.
This isn’t the first time this deranged loser has tried using Russian collusion to take down a candidate she’s intimidated by.
Learn some new tricks, Hillary!
Hillary Clinton Engages In Insane Conspiracy Theory On Tulsi Gabbard https://t.co/N6EANW3QZT— Ben Domenech (@bdomenech) 18 октября 2019 г.
Clinton’s remarks echoed recent talking points expressed by multiple US media outlets, including CNN and the New York Times, who attacked Gabbard over her alleged status as a “Russian asset” and an “Assad apologist.” Gabbard addressed the media’s “smears” at the latest Democratic debate, calling the claims against herself, an Iraq War veteran, “completely despicable,” and threatening to boycott the next debate.
Gabbard has faced flak over her 2017 trip to Syria on a ‘fact-finding’ mission, where she met with Syrian President Bashar Assad, and for multiple comments she has made about needing to end a “dangerous” and expensive “nuclear arms race” with Russia.
Clinton’s remarks about Gabbard are the latest in a barrage of US media attacks against the candidate which began in February, when NBC News pointed to alleged overly favourable coverage of the candidate in Russian foreign language media. Gabbard called the media’s attacks an attempt to smear her as a “Kremlin stooge” and to “discredit” her campaign.
According to a recent Economist/YouGov survey, Gabbard is currently polling at 3 percent support for the Democratic nomination, behind former Vice President Joe Biden, Senator Elizabeth Warren, Senator Bernie Sanders, South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg and Senator Kamala Harris.
*CORRECTION: The text of this article has been amended to reflect the fact that Mrs. Clinton was apparently referring to the Republican Party, not “the Russians,” when she mentioned that someone was “grooming” a third-party candidate for the 2020 race.