In an interview with Sean Hannity on Monday night, President Donald Trump came to Tulsi Gabbard’s defense after Hillary Clinton suggested that the Russians were “grooming” the Hawaiian Democrat to be an asset for them in the 2020 election.
In a podcast interview with former Obama aide David Plouffe, Clinton ignited a firestorm by saying: “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. They have a bunch of sites and bots and other ways of supporting her so far.”
Clinton did not mention Gabbard by name, but there’s hardly anyone else she could have been talking about. Smearing Gabbard as some kind of secret Russian agent has been a favorite talking point on the left for the last few months.
Clinton then said, “That’s assuming Jill Stein will give it up, which she might not because she’s also a Russian asset.”
Trump told Hannity that if Clinton would have come out with these cockamamie ideas two years ago, everyone in the country would have realizing how batty she really is.
“Then you have Hillary Clinton saying two days ago, ‘Tulsi Gabbard is a Russian asset,’ and that Jill Stein was a Russian agent,” Trump told Hannity. “I said, wait a minute, it took me two-and-a-half years, I wish she would have said that earlier because people have realized she is crazy. She’s crazy.”
Trump acknowledged that he didn’t know Stein or Gabbard personally, but he was quite confident that they were not secretly working for Moscow.
“I don’t know Jill Stein. I know her as an environmentalist and probably a good woman. The last thing she is is a Russian asset. I don’t know Tulsi Gabbard, but I know one thing: she’s not an asset of Russia. These people are sick. There’s something wrong with them,” Trump said.
If Trump responded to Clinton’s wild accusations with light mockery, Gabbard replied with vicious indignation.
“If they can falsely portray me as a traitor, then they can do it to anyone—and in fact, that’s exactly the message they want to get across to you,” Gabbard said in a video released this weekend. “If you stand up to Hillary and the party power brokers—if you stand up to the rich and powerful elite and the war machine, they will destroy you and discredit your message. But, here is the truth: They will not intimidate us. They will not silence us.”