Hillary Clinton‘s recent claim that Democratic presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard is a Russian asset being groomed as a third-party candidate has been controversial, to say the least. Her claim has drawn criticism from both sides of the aisle, with some — including Michigan Representative Justin Amash and political commentator Saagar Enjeti — alleging that Clinton played a role in getting Donald Trump elected.
According to Gabbard and many of her defenders, Clinton’s attack is part of a concerted effort smears against the candidate by the Democratic National Committee (DNC), which is purportedly bitter about Gabbard leaving the committee and endorsing Bernie Sanders instead of their choice — Clinton.
Sanders has now chimed in on Twitter and thrown his support behind the Hawaii representative.
“Tulsi Gabbard has put her life on the line to defend this country. People can disagree on issues, but it is outrageous for anyone to suggest that Tulsi is a foreign asset.”
Along with Sanders, Andrew Yang, Marianne Williamson, and Beto O’Rourke have defended Gabbard, as have other prominent figures, including President Donald Trump, who defeated Clinton in 2016. While many might be pleased with Sanders’ defense of Gabbard, there’s a chance the endorsement will not sit well with some others, given the controversial nature of Gabbard’s campaign.
Per L.A. Progressive, Gabbard’s decision to leave the DNC has “come down on her like a ton of bricks.”
“The DNC’s methodology for revenging itself on her has been one that lacks integrity and seems to fall within the ‘scam’ methods the DNC used against Bernie in 2016,” the article — which was written before Clinton’s accusations — reads.
Hillary Clinton doesn't just predict the Russians will support Tulsi Gabbard as a third-party candidate; she also calls Jill Stein "a Russian asset -- I mean totally."— Aaron Blake (@AaronBlake) October 18, 2019
Full context: pic.twitter.com/a5wZeCKWsd
According to The Hill‘s Rising host Krystal Ball, who was called a “Russian plant” for praising Yang’s criticism of the United State meritocracy, this particular smear is often used to attack people who question America’s endless wars, its members of the national security state, or address other controversial topics, such as drug addiction, homelessness, and poverty.
According to Ball, the current state of the U.S. is bad enough that people don’t need to use “propaganda or lies” to make the country look bad.
“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 regardless, the most unpatriotic move that can be made in such as situation is to turn the other way.
Enjeti, Balls’ Rising co-host, suggests that Clinton’s attack reflects what he believes is her bitterness over the fact that her policies and 2016 campaign purportedly pushed Trump to victory. He also echoed many others, suggesting that Clinton is angry with Gabbard for calling out the DNC’s bias in 2016.