who shall remain nameless
Hillary Clinton has directly labeled 2016 Green Party nominee Jill Stein a "Russian asset," and indirectly suggested the same is true of Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii).
The 2016 Democratic presidential candidate, during an appearance on the Campaign HQ podcast Thursday, said she believes Republicans, with Russian help, are going to "do third-party again" in 2020, meaning push a third party candidate to help President Trump, The Washington Post reports. The previous time she's referring to is Stein's 2016 campaign.
"She's a Russian asset," Clinton said of Stein. "I mean, totally."
This comment came after Clinton suggested there's an unnamed candidate in the field who Republicans are grooming to run third party, clearly talking about Gabbard. Earlier this week, The New York Times wrote in reference to Gabbard that some "worry about supportive signs from online bot activity and the Russian news media."
"I'm not making any predictions, but I think they've got their eye on somebody who is currently in the Democratic primary," Clinton said, with the "they" being the GOP. "And they're 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."
Gabbard has slammed such accusations at this week's Democratic debate, referring to the Times article as being full of "smears." In regards to Stein, the Post noted that "exit polls showed most of her voters wouldn't have supported either Clinton or Trump if Stein weren't running." Brendan Morrow
Update: An earlier version of this story said Clinton believed Russians, not Republicans, are grooming Gabbard for a third-party run. We have updated the story accordingly, based on Clinton's full comments, and apologize for the error.