Democratic 2016 presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, said on Friday that one of the current crops of Democratic hopefuls is being “groomed” by Russia to boost Donald Trump’s chances of re-election by running as a “third party” candidate in the 2020 presidential election. But as The Inquisitr reported, her comments on a political podcast produced an immediate backlash from supporters of Hawaii congressional rep Tulsi Gabbard, who quickly deduced that Clinton was talking about their candidate.
Perhaps the most bitter backlash came from Gabbard herself, who clearly believed that she was the subject of Clinton’s “grooming” comment, and tweeted a statement ripping Clinton as “the queen of warmongers, embodiment of corruption, and personification of the rot that has sickened the Democratic Party.”
At least three other Democratic candidates — businessman Andrew Yang, former Texas congressional rep Beto O’Rourke, and motivational speaker Marianne Williamson — also criticized Clinton and defended Gabbard, as The Washington Post, though none of the other candidates used the vituperative language employed by Gabbard in her tweet directed at Clinton.
But appearing in an MSNBC interview on Saturday morning, one former 2016 Clinton campaign aide took the opposite position, saying that Clinton “didn’t go far enough” in her criticism of Gabbard, and her warning that Russia is continuing its attempt to tilt the U.S. election in Trump’s favor.
Zerlina Maxwell, who is now a director of progressive programming on SiriusXM radio, told MSNBC that in 2016 when Clinton tried to warn voters and the media that Russia was backing Trump’s candidacy, she was “laughed at,” as quoted by the news site Raw Story.
“We have to decide whether or not we’ll listen to Hillary Clinton, who lived through this in 2016,” Maxwell said in the Saturday morning interview.
“This is a real warning. And I think that we would be smart to listen before it’s too late.”
In the 2016 campaign, Clinton repeatedly warned of the ties between Trump and Russia, even telling Trump in person during the October 19, 2016, presidential debate that he was a “puppet” of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
“You are willing to spout the Putin line, sign up for his wish list,” Clinton told Trump, as quoted by The Inquisitr.
“Break up NATO, do whatever he wants to do. You continue to get help from him because he has a very clear favorite in this race.”
Trump appeared unnerved at the accusation, interrupting Clinton to respond.
“No puppet! No puppet! You’re the puppet!” Trump snapped at Clinton in the debate three years ago.
“The Trump train wreck that we are experiencing right now didn’t just creep up on us and take us by surprise,” wrote Boston Globe columnist Michael A. Cohen, in a retrospective of Clinton’s campaign against Trump.
“The warning signs were blinking red, and tens of millions of Americans chose to ignore them.”