Hillary Clinton appears to have suggested that Russia is grooming Democratic presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard for a third-party run in 2020 in an extension of its election interference from the last cycle.
The former secretary of state made the claim during an appearance for the Campaign HQ with David Plouffe podcast, saying that she believes Russia has “got their eye on someone” currently in the Democratic primary and that the person is being groomed to run as a third-party candidate. While Clinton did not mention Gabbard by name, the Hawaii Congresswoman has been accused of parroting talking points from Russia and was one of the few Democrats to push back against the Russia investigation and impeachment inquiry facing Donald Trump. A Clinton spokesperson later seemed to confirm that she was referring to Gabbard.
Clinton also noted that Russian bots that push divisive and pro-Trump messaging on social media have been particularly active in boosting Gabbard. Clinton did predict that former Green Party candidate Jill Stein — who was also connected to Russia and attended a dinner with Vladimir Putin before the 2016 presidential race — could once again play that role.
“They have a bunch of sites and bots and other ways of supporting her so far,” Clinton said, adding “That’s assuming Jill Stein will give it up, which she might not because she’s also a Russian asset. Yeah, she’s a Russian asset — I mean, totally. They know they can’t win without a third-party candidate. So I don’t know who it’s going to be, but I will guarantee you they will have a vigorous third-party challenge in the key states that they most needed.”
Stein came under sharp criticism for launching attacks at Hillary Clinton and appearing to defend Trump, despite the Democratic Party being politically much closer to the Green Party with Trump actively working against many of the Green Party platforms.
Hillary Clinton is not the first to accuse Tulsi Gabbard of pushing Russian interests. As The Inquisitr reported, political commentator Bakari Sellers said he believes that Gabbard is a Russian plant.
“There is a chance that Tulsi is not just working for the United States of America, but I digress,” he said in an appearance on CNN’s New Day, via Raw Story.
Sellers added that he believes Gabbard is the “antithesis” to what the other candidates in the race believe, especially on issues of foreign policy, saying she is a “puppet for the Russian government.”
Tulsi Gabbard, who has languished near the bottom of 2020 primary polls, has pledged that she would not run as a third-party candidate.