Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called long-shot Democratic presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard a “favorite of the Russians” this week, and implied that the Russian government was “grooming” her for a third party run to sabotage the eventual Democratic presidential nominee.
“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 on Campaign HQ’s podcast, according to CNN. “She’s the favorite of the Russians.”
Clinton also claimed that 2016 Green Party presidential nominee Jill Stein was a “Russian asset,” but did not provide any evidence to back up her assertion. Some Democrats believe Stein’s third party candidacy siphoned off votes from Clinton’s campaign in 2016, and played a role in her loss. (RELATED: Hillary Clinton Doesn’t Seem Sure If Transgender Women Should Be Considered Real Women)
“That’s assuming Jill Stein will give it up, which she might not because she is also a Russian asset,” Clinton said. “They know they can’t win without a third-party candidate, and so I do not know who it is 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.”
Clinton and other Democrats have repeatedly blamed alleged Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election for their 2016 defeat.