During Monday’s episode of her You and Me Both podcast, former Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton floated the unsubstantiated theory that Donald Trump spoke to Russian President Vladimir Putin before the storming of the U.S. Capitol, which many have blamed the U.S. leader for inciting.
“I would love to see his phone records to see whether he was talking to Putin the day that the insurgents invaded our Capitol,” she said, per the New York Post.
“We now know that — not just him, but his enablers, his accomplices, his cult members — have the same disregard for democracy.”
The comments received criticism from many journalists on social media.
“I don’t know what’s worse: if she actually believes this is a possibility or if she’s recklessly throwing out a conspiracy theory like this in some misguided effort to get Democrats to rehash Russia investigations,” progressive commentator Emma Vigeland tweeted.
“Have you heard of #BlueAnon?” The Nation journalist Aaron Maté tweeted, paralleling the comments with the QAnon conspiracy theory.
Clinton and her guest, Hosue Speaker Nancy Pelosi, continued to suggest the establishment of a “9/11-type commission” to investigate Trump’s purported links to Putin. As noted by Maté, FBI and Congressional probes have already examined the possible conspiracy between the two leaders to influence the 2016 election and did not find sufficient evidence to support the hypothesis.
According to NBC News, the FBI has launched an inquiry into the possibility that foreign governments attempted to interfere in the Capitol riot. Notably, the bureau is examing series of Bitcoin payments allegedly made to far-right figures by a French national who subsequently died by suicide. Nevertheless, there is thus far no evidence of foreign government involvement in the riots.
This is not the first time that Clinton has supposedly floated a far-out theory without substantiation. As reported by CNN, Clinton previously suggested that Russians were grooming then-Democratic presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard to make a bid for a third-party run and promote their interests. According to Clinton, Gabbard was the “favorite of the Russians.” Gabbard ultimately endorsed Democrat President-elect Joe Biden for the White House.
After the allegations, Gabbard slammed Clinton as the “queen of warmongers.” She continued to claim that there was a concerted effort to destroy her presidential campaign and accused Clinton of spearheading the effort via her allies and proxies in the corporate media and military-industrial complex. The former Hawaii congresswoman also taunted Clinton to take another shot at the presidency.