Tulsi Gabbard Responds After Hillary Clinton Implies Gabbard Is Favored by Russia

By Janita Kan
Janita Kan
Janita Kan
Janita Kan is a reporter based in New York covering the Justice Department, courts, and First Amendment.
October 18, 2019Updated: October 19, 2019

2020 Democratic candidate Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii) has responded to Hillary Clinton, who this week implied that Gabbard was a favorite of the Russians.

“Great! Thank you, @HillaryClinton. You, the queen of warmongers, embodiment of corruption, and personification of the rot that has sickened the Democratic Party for so long, have finally come out from behind the curtain,” Gabbard said in a Twitter post on Oct. 18.

“From the day I announced my candidacy, there has been a concerted campaign to destroy my reputation. We wondered who was behind it and why. Now we know—it was always you, through your proxies and powerful allies in the corporate media and war machine, afraid of the threat I pose,” she continued.

“It’s now clear that this primary is between you and me. Don’t cowardly hide behind your proxies. Join the race directly,” Gabbard added.

This comes after the former secretary of state’s comments during a podcast appearance on Campaign HQ hosted by David Plouffe.

During the interview, Clinton said, “They’ve got their eye on somebody who is currently in the Democratic primary and are grooming her to be the third-party candidate.” A spokesperson told the Wall Street Journal that she was referring to Republicans who have their eye on a Democratic candidate.

“She is a favorite of the Russians. They have a bunch of sites and bots and other ways of supporting her so far. That’s assuming Jill Stein will give it up, which she might not because she is also a Russian asset,” Clinton continued, without referring to Gabbard by name.

“They know they can’t win without a third-party candidate, and so I do not know who it’s going to be, but I can guarantee you they will have a vigorous third-party challenge in the key states that they most need it,” she added.

During the Democratic debate on Oct. 15, Gabbard criticized the New York Times and CNN for smearing veterans like herself “for calling for an end to this regime change war [in Syria]” and their reports for accusing her of being a Russian asset and an Assad apologist.

On Oct. 12, the NY Times published a story that said the 2020 candidate’s threatening to boycott the debate caused some Democrats to wonder what “she is up to in the race,” adding that “others worry about supportive signs from online bot activity and the Russian news media.”

Meanwhile, CNN analyst Bakari Sellers accused Gabbard of being “a puppet for the Russian government” during a CNN panel discussion before this week’s debate.

“That’s not just an allegation. I firmly believe that Tulsi Gabbard stands on that stage and is the antithesis to what the other 11 individuals stand for. Especially when it comes to issues such as foreign policy,” Sellers said. “There is no question that Tulsi Gabbard, of all the 12, is a puppet for the Russian government.”

Gabbard previously told her supporters that she was considering not joining the fourth Democratic presidential debate because she believes the Democratic National Committee and corporate media are rigging the election against voters in early voting states of Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, and Nevada.

“They are attempting to replace the roles of voters in the early states, using polling and other arbitrary methods which are not transparent or democratic, and holding so-called debates which are not debates at all but rather commercialized reality television meant to entertain, not inform or enlighten,” Gabbard said in a statement posted Oct. 10.

“In short, the DNC and corporate media are trying to hijack the entire election process,” she added.