Clinton suggests Russia grooming Gabbard to run as third-party 2020 candidate

Source: The Hill | October 18, 2019 | Max Greenwood

Hillary Clinton appeared to suggest that Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii) is the “favorite of the Russians” to win the 2020 presidential election and is being groomed by Moscow to run as a third-party candidate against the eventual Democratic nominee.

In an interview on the podcast “Campaign HQ,” Clinton warned that the Russian government was poised to once again meddle in the U.S. presidential election through online disinformation efforts and by encouraging a third-party challenger to stir chaos in the contest.

Indeed, the Russians already have their “eye on somebody who’s currently in the Democratic primary and are grooming her to be the third-party candidate,” she said, in an apparent reference to Gabbard.

“She’s the favorite of the Russians. They have a bunch of sites and bots and other ways of supporting her, so far,” Clinton told David Plouffe, the podcast’s host and the campaign manager for former President Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign.

“And that’s assuming Jill Stein will give it up, which she might not because she’s also a Russian asset,” Clinton added, referring to the 2016 Green Party presidential candidate.

Clinton did not mention Gabbard by name. But her comments were a clear swipe at the Hawaii congresswoman, who has repeatedly been accused by political rivals and critics of being a potential Russian asset. Gabbard has denied those allegations.

During a Democratic presidential debate this week, Gabbard criticized news outlets – The New York Times and CNN, in particular – for accusing her of being “a Russian asset and an Assad apologist,” calling the allegations “completely despicable.”

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