If you thought the 2020 campaign season was already getting crazy, buckle up. It just became a whole lot weirder.
The showdown between Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard and Hillary Clinton took a bizarre turn over the weekend, after a major news network jumped into the fray. On Saturday, commentators at left-leaning MSNBC seemed to back an unfounded conspiracy theory pushed by Clinton, all while piling on Gabbard.
Gabbard, of course, is one of numerous Democrat presidential candidates fighting for the coveted party nomination. The young representative and well-spoken military officer has a bright political future ahead of her — and that sure seems to irritate two-time presidential loser Clinton.
It’s no secret that Clinton has seemed obsessed with blaming Russia ever since she lost the 2016 election in embarrassing fashion. Despite scant evidence to back up her claims, the former secretary of state has repeatedly claimed that vague election meddling from Moscow cost her the entire election.
Now she’s taking the Russian obsession to a disturbing new level. On Thursday, Clinton suggested that Tulsi Gabbard was being “groomed” by Russia as some sort of asset, in order to tilt the election results in 2020.
“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 on the “Campaign HQ” podcast hosted by a former Obama campaign manager.
Clinton did not name Gabbard specifically, but later hinted that the 38-year-old was indeed who she was talking about. News outlets ranging from The Washington Examiner to CNN widely confirmed that the former first lady was talking about Gabbard.
“She is a favorite of the Russians. They have a bunch of sites and bots and other ways of supporting her so far,” Clinton continued, again with no proof. “That’s assuming [Green Party candidate] Jill Stein will give it up, which she might not because she is also a Russian asset.”
Yes, Gabbard is a Russian asset. Stein is a Russian asset. You’re a Russian asset, and so is the mailman.
The Hawaii congresswoman didn’t let those comments slide. Stepping up and calling out Clinton directly for the strange attack, Gabbard used Twitter to skewer the unfounded accusations against her.
“You, the queen of warmongers, embodiment of corruption, and personification of the rot that has sickened the Democratic Party for so long, have finally come out from behind the curtain,” Rep. Gabbard posted in a response directed at Clinton.
“From the day I announced my candidacy, there has been a concerted campaign to destroy my reputation. We wondered who was behind it and why. Now we know — it was always you, through your proxies and powerful allies in the corporate media and war machine, afraid of the threat I pose,” she continued.
It was a powerful response, but apparently not strong enough for the talking heads at MSNBC. On Saturday morning, liberal commentators appeared to mock Gabbard for not explicitly denying Clinton’s wild claim of being a Russian asset.
“One thing that was interesting about Tulsi Gabbard’s response, I mean she went after Hillary Clinton strong, she said she wasn’t going to run as a third-party candidate, she never denied being a Russian asset,” MSNBC contributor Kimberly Atkins declared.
“That was the one aspect that was missing from her response, which you would think that would be in the first line or two,” Atkins continued. “It was not there.”
Other panel members seemed to agree with this, and reiterated that Clinton had never overtly named Gabbard in her inflammatory remarks. If there was ever any doubt just how tone-deaf and out of touch the establishment media has become, this should clear it up.
Clinton’s attack was so uncalled for that it has rallied liberal and conservative voices alike to defend Gabbard. Everyone from major Democrat candidates to President Trump to the editors of liberal Rolling Stone Magazine have dismantled Clinton’s Russian conspiracy theory, calling it out as an unhinged delusion.
But not MSNBC. In their world, it is Rep. Gabbard’s responsibility to accept and then disprove the premise of an insane conspiracy theory. It’s not unlike the old, dark joke: “When did you stop beating your wife?”
“Why don’t you deny being a Russian asset?” It’s a setup — no matter how one answers, it’s a no-win trap.
Gabbard may not end up being the Democrat nominee this election, but she has shown a brave willingness to stand up to corrupt power and take on the establishment. She will likely walk away from this as a major anti-establishment political figure … but MSNBC instead ends up looking like a joke.
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