CNN did its level best earlier this week in the fourth Democratic presidential primary debate to contain the anti-establishment fire that burns within Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, but accusations made against her by Hillary Clinton on Wednesday have unleashed it.

Fox News reports:

Hillary Clinton in a new interview appeared to float a conspiracy theory that the Russians are “grooming” Hawaii congresswoman and Democratic presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard to be a third-party candidate in 2020, while claiming 2016 Green Party nominee Jill Stein is “also” a Russian asset.

Appearing on former President Obama aide David Plouffe’s “Campaign HQ” podcast, Clinton did not mention Gabbard specifically by name, though Plouffe ended the podcast by noting Clinton’s “belief that Tulsi Gabbard is going to be a third-party candidate propped up by Trump and the Russians.”

“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. “She’s the favorite of the Russians. They have a bunch of sites and bots and other ways of supporting her so far.”

She then accused 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.”

During the debate on Tuesday, Gabbard had lashed out at debate hosts CNN and the New York Times for characterizing her in recent reports as being a Russian “puppet” and an apologist for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad:

“Not only that, New York Times and CNN have also smeared veterans like myself for calling for an end to this regime change war,” Gabbard said.

“Just two days ago The New York Times put out an article saying that I’m a Russian asset and an [Syrian President Bashar] al-Assad apologist and all these different smears. This morning a CNN commentator said on national television that I’m an asset of Russia.”

“Completely despicable,” Gabbard, an Iraq war veteran, stated about the reports. Watch:

Friday afternoon after Plouffe’s podcast was published, Gabbard went off on Clinton in a series of tweets:

Gabbard also appeared on Tucker Carlson’s show Friday night to discuss Hillary’s remarks:

Clinton spokesman Nick Merrill responded to the news of how Gabbard reacted about like you’d expect he would:

Wow, if that’s not the pot calling the kettle black, I don’t know what is.

By the way, yes, that’s the same Nick Merrill who author/commentator Ronan Farrow alleges pressured him over his reporting about serial sexual predator Harvey Weinstein, who was a longtime friend of the Clintons.

As of this writing, the Russia-obsessed Clinton hasn’t responded to Gabbard’s challenge directly on social media and probably won’t. Because when it comes to using “divisive language filled with vitriol and conspiracy theories”, Clinton knows she can go on any national news outlet she wants to and make such outlandish claims without a shred of evidence, with little to no pushback from her interviewers, and with no opposing viewpoint from the person or people she’s attacking.

Stay tuned.

— Stacey Matthews has also written under the pseudonym “Sister Toldjah” and can be reached via Twitter. —

 
 
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