Last week, Bonchie wrote about about how failed 2016 Democratic nominee for president Hillary Clinton told former Obama adviser David Plouffe in a podcast last week that Rep. Tulsi Gabbard and 2016 Green party nominee Jill Stein were both “Russian assets.”
Prior to making that claim, Clinton also asserted that “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,” which was a clear reference to Gabbard even though she did not mention the 2020 presidential candidate by name during the podcast.
It was widely reported Friday morning by multiple journalists on Twitter, including the Washington Post’s Aaron Blake, that the “they” Hillary referred to were the Russians. Here’s what Blake and others tweeted:
Hillary Clinton doesn't just predict the Russians will support Tulsi Gabbard as a third-party candidate; she also calls Jill Stein "a Russian asset — I mean totally."
Full context: pic.twitter.com/a5wZeCKWsd
— Aaron Blake (@AaronBlake) October 18, 2019
So in this one interview, Clinton:
1) Suggested Putin has kompromat on Trump
2) Wagered that Russians will back Tulsi Gabbard third-party
3) Said Jill Stein is a "Russian asset"https://t.co/EniZnwfqgY
— Aaron Blake (@AaronBlake) October 18, 2019
Clinton’s spokesman Nick Merrill was even asked about her comments to confirm it was Gabbard who she was referring to. He did:
Hillary Clinton appears to suggest Russians are 'grooming' Tulsi Gabbard for third-party run.
Clinton spox @NickMerrill, when asked if HRC was referring to Gabbard: “If the nesting doll fits.”
More here: https://t.co/MfnW3HAmCI
— Dan Merica (@merica) October 18, 2019
In addition to an opinion piece on Hillary vs. Tulsi, the New York Times also published a straight news (heh) report about Clinton’s remarks and initially reported that Hillary was referring to the Russians as being the ones who were “grooming” Gabbard to be a third party candidate.
But sometime between last Friday and Tuesday, they changed their story, and now report it was “Republicans” Hillary meant, not the Russians. How do we know this? Through Merrill, in a series of tweets, the first two of which note the so-called error and correction:
— Nick Merrill (@NickMerrill) October 22, 2019
Because I don’t trust anything that comes from Merrill or anyone else on Team Clinton, I searched for a transcript so I could read what she said in context. Politifact, thankfully, had it:
Plouffe: “But one of the reasons [Trump] was able to win is the third party vote.”
Plouffe: “And what’s clear to me, you mentioned, you know, he’s going to just lie. … He’s going to say, whoever our nominee is, ‘will ban hamburgers and steaks and you can’t fly and infanticide’ and people believe this. So, how concerned are you about that? For me, so much of this does come down to the win number. If he has to get 49 or even 49.5 in a bunch of…”
Clinton: “He can’t do that.”
Plouffe: “…which I don’t think he can… So he’s going to try and drive the people not to vote for him but just to say, ‘you know, you can’t vote for them either.’ And that seems to be, I think, to the extent that I can define a strategy, their key strategy right now.”
Clinton: “Well, I think there’s going to be two parts and I think it’s going to be the same as 2016: ‘Don’t vote for the other guy. You don’t like me? Don’t vote for the other guy because the other guy is going to do X, Y and Z or the other guy did such terrible things and I’m going to show you in these, you know, flashing videos that appear and then disappear and they’re on the dark web, and nobody can find them, but you’re going to see them and you’re going to see that person doing these horrible things.’”
“They’re also going to do third party again. And 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, and that’s assuming Jill Stein will give it up. Which she might not, ’cause she’s also a Russian asset.”
Clinton: “Yeah, she’s a Russian asset, I mean, totally.
“And so, they know they can’t win without a third party candidate and, so, I don’t know who it’s going to be it but I will guarantee you they’ll have a vigorous third party challenge in the key states that they most need it.”
Understandably, it’s hard to tell whether Hillary is talking about Trump and Republicans or the Russians when she refers to “they” because she uses the terms interchangeably often, but it simply does not make sense that Merrill confirmed Friday she was talking about Russians grooming Gabbard but then rushed to Twitter a few days later to correct the record.
In fact, the “correction” is just a little too convenient for my liking. It’s almost as though it was a coordinated effort. Considering how closely the Clinton camp monitors the media, it is not outside the realm of possibility at all that they pitched a fit to the NYT to the point the paper changed it on their behalf.
Just for purposes of discussion, let’s say Hillary Clinton really was referring to Republicans as “grooming” Gabbard.
1) It’s still highly insulting to Gabbard. Even though she doesn’t view Republicans as the enemy, she’s also a proud Democrat and by suggesting Republicans were “grooming” her to be a third party candidate means Clinton thinks Gabbard, who served her country in Iraq, would sell out her party and what she stands for in order to give Trump the advantage in the general election.
2) Plus, Clinton, who is delusional enough to think Trump and Republicans colluded with the Russians in 2016, thinks they are still “working together” now to “steal” 2020. So by saying Republicans are “grooming” Gabbard, she’s saying Gabbard is working with people who allegedly are getting assistance from a foreign country to “steal” our elections.
The “correction” the paper made does not change the despicable nature of what she said.
3) Hillary Clinton unquestionably called Gabbbard a “Russian asset.” That’s just as disgusting.
The bottom line is that Democrats including Hillary Clinton have banged the “Russia” drum since 2016. The only difference now is that she’s implicating members of her own party in some supposed new Republican scheme to steal 2020.
Someone needs to stage an intervention with her. Seriously. This is just nuts.
— Based in North Carolina, Sister Toldjah is a former liberal and a 16+ year veteran of blogging with an emphasis on media bias, social issues, and the culture wars. Read her Red State archives here. Connect with her on Twitter. –