Gabbard suing Clinton for defamation over 'Russian asset' comments
By: BY REBECCA KLAR
Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii) is suing Hillary Clinton for defamation over the former secretary of state's remarks on a podcast characterizing the Democratic presidential candidate as a Russian asset.
Gabbard filed the defamation lawsuit Wednesday in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.
Gabbard’s lawyers allege that Clinton’s comments have “smeared” Gabbard’s “political and personal reputation.”
“Tulsi Gabbard is a loyal American civil servant who has also dedicated her life to protecting the safety of all Americans,” Gabbard’s lawyer Brian Dunne said in a statement.
“Rep. Gabbard’s presidential campaign continues to gain momentum, but she has seen her political and personal reputation smeared and her candidacy intentionally damaged by Clinton’s malicious and demonstrably false remarks.”
In a podcast recorded in October but released in November, Clinton said she thought Republicans were "grooming" a Democratic presidential candidate for a third-party bid. She also described the candidate as a favorite of the Russians.
Clinton did not name the candidate but it was clear she was speaking about Gabbard.
"They're also going to do third party. I'm not making any predictions, but I think they've got their eye on somebody who's currently in the Democratic primary and are grooming her to be the third-party candidate," Clinton said.
"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, because she's also a Russian asset. Yeah, she's a Russian asset, I mean totally. They know they can't win without a third party candidate," Clinton said.
Stein was the Green Party candidate in the 2016 presidential election. Stein said the idea she is a Russian asset is an unhinged conspiracy theory in an op-ed for the Guardian.