Democratic presidential candidate and Hawaii Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard - who like Trump was quickly put in the crosshairs of the military industrial complex, the deep state and the pro-war Atlantic Council for her de-interventionist foreign policy - fired back at Hillary Clinton, accusing her of being behind a "concerted campaign" to destroy her reputation and challenged her to stop hiding and enter the 2020 presidential race. Earlier in the day, Hillary Clinton floated a conspiracy theory that the Russians are "grooming" the Hawaii congresswoman to be a third-party candidate in 2020, while claiming 2016 Green Party nominee Jill Stein is "also" a Russian asset.
“Great! Thank you Hillary Clinton,” Gabbard tweeted late on Friday afternoon. "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." Gabbard added.
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. From the day I announced my candidacy, there has been a ...— Tulsi Gabbard (@TulsiGabbard) October 18, 2019
... 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 ...— Tulsi Gabbard (@TulsiGabbard) October 18, 2019
... powerful allies in the corporate media and war machine, afraid of the threat I pose.— Tulsi Gabbard (@TulsiGabbard) October 18, 2019
It’s now clear that this primary is between you and me. Don’t cowardly hide behind your proxies. Join the race directly.
“Don’t cowardly hide behind your proxies. Join the race directly,” Gabbard called out Clinton, who has dropped hints that she might run again in 2020 as a rematch for her 2016 humiliation.
During this week’s Democratic debate, Gabbard blasted debate co-sponsors CNN and the New York Times for "smearing" her along similar lines. CNN commentator Bakari Sellers called her a "puppet" for the Russian government and the Times reported on her “frequent” mentions in Russian state news media.
"Just two days ago, The New York Times put out an article saying that I'm a Russian asset and an Assad apologist and all these different smears,” Gabbard said. "This morning, a CNN commentator said on national television that I'm an asset of Russia — completely despicable."
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Clinton, who has blamed everyone - from the FBI to Russia - except herself for her 2016 loss to Donald Trump, said in a Thursday interview on President Obama aide David Plouffe’s “Campaign HQ” podcast that "Russians" were "grooming" someone in the Democrat primary field to run as a third-party candidate.
“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, in apparent reference to Gabbard, a Hawaii Army National Guard major who served in Iraq. "She's the favorite of the Russians. They have a bunch of sites and bots and other ways of supporting her so far."
While not calling out Gabbard by name, her spokesperson later told CNN, “if the nesting doll fits,” leaving no room for doubt.
And just to make sure she finds yet another scapegoat for her loss, Clinton also accused 2016 Green Party nominee, Jill Stein, who ran against her and Donald Trump in 2016, of also being an asset of Russia: "That’s assuming Jill Stein will give it up, which she might not because she’s also a Russian asset."
Earlier in the interview, Clinton hinted that the Trump 2020 campaign is still in "contact with the Russians," and that "we have to assume that since it worked for them, why would they quit?"
"Donald Trump is Vladimir Putin's dream," Clinton added. "I don't know what Putin has on him - whether its both personal and financial, I assume it is. But more than that, there's this bizarre adulation Trump has for dictators."
Clinton also insisted that Russia "did affect the outcome of the election" in 2016, despite the DOJ concluding otherwise.
Of all the candidates in the crowded Democrat primary field, Gabbard has been under the heaviest fire from journalists who previously boosted Clinton, accused of being an “Assad apologist” over a fact-finding trip she took to Syria years ago.
During the 2016 campaign, Gabbard resigned as vice-chair of the Democratic National Committee after endorsing Bernie Sanders for the party’s presidential nomination. Clinton beat Sanders out for the nomination largely due to support from the unaccountable “superdelegates,” and thanks to Wikileaks, it later emerged that her campaign had taken over the DNC entirely, a discovery that led to the resignation of then-DNC head Debbie Wasserman Schultz, which might help explain Gabbard’s line about “the rot that has sickened the Democratic Party for so long.”
Shortly after Gabbard's tweets, the Clinton campaign promptly responded, in what now appears will be a lengthy war of words between the two women as Hillary prepares to unveil her final presidential campaign. As CNN reporter, Dan Merica tweeted, Clinton spokesman Nick Merrill has responded to Gabbard’s response, saying: "Divisive language filled with vitriol and conspiracy theories? Can’t imagine a better proof point than this," although it wasn't quite clear how Gabbard's response to Clinton's original conspiracy theories was proof of anything besides defense against unsubstantiated allegations.
Clinton spokesman Nick Merrill responds to Gabbard’s response/thread: “Divisive language filled with vitriol and conspiracy theories? Can’t imagine a better proof point than this.” https://t.co/MofEisUVrf— Dan Merica (@merica) October 18, 2019
Shortly thereafter, Democratic candidate Cory Booker, whose odds of winning the nomination, decided to join in the catfight, reacting to Gabbard with a GIF:
And since, at its core this is a feud between the military industrial complex at the heart of the US government, and those who would rather not send the stock price of Lockheed, Raytheon and Boeing to new all time highs in exchange for the mass murder of innocent civilians, the neocons were not far behind with former U.N. ambassador Samantha Power quickly tweeting in response to Clinton’s comments: "If @TulsiGabbard runs, it wd be a huge windfall for Trump, Assad, Putin, Xi”
2016 election was won by 78,000 votes spread among 3 states. Absent 3rd party candidates, @HillaryClinton wd have won & @realDonaldTrump wld not now be harming Americans(& our friends) & aiding autocrats. If @TulsiGabbard runs, it wd be a huge windfall for Trump, Assad, Putin, Xi https://t.co/nTGFl5s4qd— Samantha Power (@SamanthaJPower) October 18, 2019