Much like the last presidential election, I put on blinders and tried not to let all of the “distractions” get in my way. That might have been the wrong way to handle it, because all of those distractions became… the Russian interference in the election, and that led to the downfall of the American republic. Throughout the 2016 election, Hillary Clinton was right about almost everything. Go back and watch some of her interviews and debate answers from the fall of 2016 – she clearly saw the Russian interference on Trump’s behalf, and she called it out bluntly, over and over again. Well, we’re almost one year away from the 2020 presidential election. And Hillary is still calling sh-t like she sees it. This time, she f–king knows that *someone* is an asset for Russia and Syria.
Former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton said Thursday the Russians are currently “grooming” a Democrat running in the presidential primary to run as a third-party candidate and champion their interests. The comment appears to be directed at Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, who has been accused of being cozy with Russia in the past.
“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,” Clinton said, speaking on a podcast with former Obama adviser David Plouffe. “She’s the favorite of the Russians.”
Clinton never names Gabbard, but there are only five women running for President — Gabbard, California Sen. Kamala Harris, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar and author Marianne Williamson — and none of the other woman have been accused of being boosted by Russia. Clinton did not provide proof about how Russia is “grooming” Gabbard. She and her team pointed to allegations that Russian news and propaganda sites often report on Gabbard’s campaign and that moments in Gabbard’s campaign have been reportedly amplified by trolls and bots on Twitter with ties to Russia. Gabbard has denied those allegations.
“They have a bunch of sites and bots and other ways of supporting her so far,” Clinton said. Clinton’s team also noted that some of Gabbard’s foreign policy views align closely with Russian interests.
Gabbard responded on Twitter Friday afternoon to Clinton’s comments. “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. 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. It’s now clear that this primary is between you and me. Don’t cowardly hide behind your proxies. Join the race directly.”
I would also like to thank Hillary Clinton. She has the profile to bring attention to this issue, and even though all of the shadowy Russian assets and bots are amplifying the attacks on Hillary (party like it’s 2016), all that does is prove Hillary’s point AND give us an opportunity to say all of this sh-t out loud. The interests of Tulsi Gabbard and Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin are largely aligned. And I imagine Tulsi’s tweet sounded better in the original Russian. Also: in my opinion, the bots are also amplifying Bernie Sanders quite heavily online. It’s become a problem for journalists to cover because the Bernie bots swarm on anyone offering mild criticism of Sanders or his campaign.
Update from @merica: when asked if the former secretary of state was referring to Gabbard, Clinton spox Nick Merrill said, “If the nesting doll fits.”
“This is not some outlandish claim,” Merrill added. “This is reality.”
— Rebecca Buck (@RebeccaBuck) October 18, 2019
Trump last night defended Jill Stein and Tulsi Gabbard against charges of Russian influence. He wasn't supposed to do that, he was supposed to pretend they were not all on the same team. https://t.co/8wczbtseFd
— David Frum (@davidfrum) October 20, 2019
Gabbard also repeatedly refused to disavow Russian Embassy tweets defending her: https://t.co/WitERpxmam
— Alexandra Jaffe (@ajjaffe) October 19, 2019
Photos courtesy of Backgrid and Getty.