During an appearance on CNN’s New Day, South Carolina politician Bakari Sellers accused Democratic presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard of being a Russian plant. Bakari’s accusation was made without evidence and stunned panelists, Raw Story reports.
“There is a chance that Tulsi is not just working for the United States of America, but I digress,” he said.
After journalist April Ryan expressed her shock, Sellers continued his attack.
“I firmly believe that Tulsi Gabbard stands on that stage as the antithesis to what the other 11 individuals stand for, especially when it comes to issues such as foreign policy. There’s no question, there is no question that Tulsi Gabbard, of all the 12, is a puppet for the Russian government.”
Gabbard’s platform centers around her anti-war stance, and she is particularly vocal about her opposition to costly regime change wars. She has also been critical of the relationship between Donald Trump’s White House and Saudi Arabia.
As The Hill‘s Rising host Krystal Ball pointed out in her op-ed, everyone from Gabbard to Glenn Greenwald and Matt Taibbi has been accused of working for the Russians on Twitter. Ball was also accused of being one following a monologue in which she attributed Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang’s success to his willingness to address the “lie of the American meritocracy.”
It's not an exaggeration to say that anyone who criticizes the Democratic Party, the DNC or US foreign policy (as supported by the CIA/NSA) is instantly, and for that reason alone, viewed as an agent of Moscow. They don't even hide their McCarthyism: it's the explicit formula: pic.twitter.com/Do0LsGjVt0
— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) October 12, 2019
According to Ball, people who are accused of working for Russia often question America’s endless wars and the intentions of members of the national security state, or address issues such as addiction, gun violence, and poverty. She added that the current state of the United States — plagued by inequality, mass shootings, and an addiction crisis — is enough on its own to make the country look bad without the use of propaganda.
“Simply telling the truth is a subversive act and yes I suppose may in fact serve Putin or our other enemy’s short-term interests,” she wrote, adding that looking the other way is not in the best interests of the United States.
Gabbard was also the target of a recent New York Times profile that she blasted as a “smear piece.” She pointed to the article as an example of her purported unfair treatment by the Democratic National Committee (DNC).
The Hawaii representative is currently lagging in the polls with 0.8 percent support. She is set to take the debate stage tonight alongside 11 other Democratic presidential candidates but has yet to qualify for the November debate. Thus far, she has met the donor requirements and needs to reach the polling threshold.