Hillary Clinton said in a podcast interview that Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii) is a Russian favorite, and they could be grooming her for a 2020 run as a possible third-party candidate. Clinton made the remarks on former Obama campaign manager David Plouffe’s podcast “Campaign HQ.”
“I’m not making any predictions, but I think they’ve got their eye on somebody who is currently in the Democratic primary and are grooming her to be the third-party candidate. She’s the favorite of the Russians.”
During the last Democratic debate, Gabbard fired back at critics who say she is too close to Russia, according to the Washington Post:
“This morning, a CNN commentator said on national television that I’m an asset of Russia,” she said. “Completely despicable.”
In the podcast, Clinton also labeled Jill Stein, a Green Party candidate in 2016, as a Russian asset and claimed the GOP can’t win without a third-party candidate in swing states. From the Post:
“And that’s assuming Jill Stein will give it up, which she might not because she’s also a Russian asset,” Clinton said. “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.”
As for Donald Trump, do the Russian have compromising material on the president? Clinton thinks so.
“I don’t know what Putin has on him, whether it’s both personal and financial,” Clinton said. “I assume it is.”
Late Friday, Gabbard went on Twitter to offer this rather bizarre reply.