Democratic presidential candidate Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii, speaks during a Democratic presidential primary debate hosted by CNN/New York Times at Otterbein University, Tuesday, Oct. 15, 2019, in Westerville, Ohio. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
As I wrote last week, when it comes to Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI), Hillary Clinton is her own worst enemy.
In the aftermath of her nasty attack on Gabbard last month in which the failed 2016 Democratic nominee for president suggested Gabbard was being “groomed” by the Russians for a third party spoiler candidacy, Gabbard’s polling numbers and contributions rose, paving the way for her to qualify for the November 20th Democratic presidential debate.
Clinton unknowingly lit a fire under Gabbard that, to date, no one seems to be able to contain. As more evidence of that, Gabbard’s lawyers have gotten involved, and are accusing Clinton of defamation. They are urging Clinton to retract her remarks, and have demanded she do so in the form of statements to the media, Twitter, and via press conference:
“In making the statement, you knew it was false. Congresswoman Gabbard is not a Russian asset and is not being groomed by Russia,” the letter said. “Besides your statement, no law enforcement or intelligence agencies have claimed, much less presented any evidence, that Congresswoman Gabbard is a Russian asset. This fabricated story is so facially improbable that it is actionable as defamation.”
Her legal counsel also pushed back on the absurd revised claim from Clinton and Co., which was picked up by major media outlets like the New York Times, that Clinton was saying it was Republicans were grooming Gabbard, not the Russians:
Early reports about Clinton’s comments said that the former secretary of state meant that Gabbard was being groomed to be a third-party candidate by Russians, but it was later clarified that she was referring to Republicans. The Gabbard campaign counsel’s letter accused Clinton of putting a “spin” on the statement to avoid liability.
“This Republicans-not-Russians spin developed only after you realized the defamatory nature of your statement, and therefore your legal liability, as well as the full extent of the public backlash against your statement,” the letter said.
“Moreover, the Republicans-not-Russians spin cannot explain away your statement that Congresswoman Gabbard is ‘a Russian asset,’” it continued. “That is, of course, because your Republicans-not-Russians spin is rubbish.”
I’m in agreement with their take, and wrote about it at the time the Clinton team were busy backtracking to different media outlets.
Some people might view Gabbard getting her legal team involved as overreach on her part, because in politics unsubstantiated allegations are often thrown about, but I really don’t blame the Hawaii congresswoman for escalating the matter. Hillary Clinton has allowed her bitterness over her 2016 loss to Trump to completely cloud what little bit of good judgment she had.
Everything is a Russian conspiracy to Clinton and her allies and defenders. Her loss to Trump was because of non-existent “collusion”, and now she’s saying the Russians are working with Gabbard to hobble the eventual 2020 Democratic nominee. I’d say a friend or other close confidant needs to step in and stage an intervention with her, but unfortunately they are of the same mindset.
Maybe the threat of facing legal consequences for throwing around such preposterous accusations without evidence will finally rein her in. Maybe.
— 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. –