‘Outrageous’: Bernie defends Tulsi Gabbard over Russian asset smear from Hillary Clinton

By Chuck Ross

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders jumped to Democratic Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard’s defense Monday against unfounded allegations that she is a Russian asset, which former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and commentators at multiple news outlets have recently floated.

“Tulsi Gabbard has put her life on the line to defend this country. People can disagree on issues, but it is outrageous for anyone to suggest that Tulsi is a foreign asset,” Sanders said of his fellow Democratic presidential hopeful on Twitter.

Allegations that Gabbard is a Russian asset have picked up steam in recent weeks as some establishment Democrats have expressed concern that she will run a third-party campaign that could draw votes from the eventual Democratic nominee.

The New York Times published an article on Oct. 12 airing some of those concerns. On Oct. 15, CNN commentator Bakari Sellers called Gabbard a “puppet” for the Russian government.

Clinton took the accusation to a new level earlier in October, claiming in an interview that the Russian government was “grooming” Gabbard to run as a third-party candidate, seemingly to help President Donald Trump.

“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 an interview with CNN.

“She’s the favorite of the Russians.”

Gabbard, 38, responded to Clinton’s comments in an interview with Tucker Carlson on Friday. She said that Clinton’s remarks were a slap in the face to “every veteran in this country, every service member, every American, anyone watching at home fighting for peace and who was calling for an end to these regime change wars.”

Gabbard, who served in the Hawaii Army National Guard during the Iraq war, is considered an anti-interventionist, and has opposed efforts to overthrow Bashar al Assad as president of Syria.

Gabbard resigned as vice-chair of the Democratic National Committee in February 2016, and endorsed Sanders for president over Clinton. Gabbard had argued for more primary debates, putting her at odds with other DNC officials, and the Clinton campaign.

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Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons/Michael Stokes