Democratic presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard wants Hillary Clinton to eat her words.
The Hawaii congresswoman’s lawyer is demanding that Clinton retract comments she made last month that claimed Gabbard’s efforts to become president were backed by Russia.
“Your statement is defamatory, and we demand that you retract it immediately,” Gabbard’s lawyer wrote, calling on Clinton to “immediately” verbally retract her slam at Gabbard, according to The Hill.
Gabbard’s lawyer also wants Clinton to publish her retraction on Twitter.
During an October podcast, Clinton speculated that Gabbard was backed by Russia and that 2016 Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein might have been a Russian asset.
“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. She’s the favorite of the Russians,” Clinton said of Gabbard at the time.
Although the Clinton camp later claimed Clinton was talking about Republicans grooming Gabbard and not Russians, Gabbard’s lawyer rejected that excuse.
“It appears you may now be claiming that this statement is about Republicans (not Russians) grooming Gabbard,” the letter to Clinton from Gabbard’s lawyer read. “But this makes no sense in light of what you actually said. After you made the statement linking Congresswoman Gabbard to the Russians, you (through your spokesman) doubled down on it with the Russian nesting dolls remark.”
Gabbard sought to push back against Clinton during an appearance on “The View” last week.
“Hillary Clinton throughout her career has led with a foreign policy of interventionism and being the world’s police going and toppling dictators in other countries that has caused such destruction and loss of life. I’m against that,” Gabbard said then.
“I’m running for president to change that. Rather than actually debate me on the issues, she and others are resorting to these smear tactic campaigns seeking to undermine me, smear my character and sending a message to anyone who dissents toe the line, or you too will be smeared,” Gabbard said.
Gabbard also launched a counterattack on Twitter after Clinton’s jab.
.@HillaryClinton, your foreign policy was a disaster for our country and the world. It’s time for you to acknowledge the damage you have caused and step down from your throne. https://t.co/r95HYvTjML pic.twitter.com/tSwCRx82sU
— Tulsi Gabbard (@TulsiGabbard) October 23, 2019
… 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 …
— Tulsi Gabbard (@TulsiGabbard) October 18, 2019
Although Gabbard has said she was damaged by Clinton’s comments, her standing in the polls rose to the point where she has qualified for the next Democratic presidential debate on Nov. 20, according to CNN.
Gabbard is currently polling at an average of 1.5 percent support, according to the RealClearPolitics average of polls.
Gabbard recently announced she would not seek another term in Congress, fueling speculation that she plans to launch an independent bid for the White House. Gabbard has denied that she will run as a third-party candidate.
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