Tulsi Gabbard Suing Hillary Clinton For Calling Her “A Russian Asset”
Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) has filed a $50 million defamation lawsuit against Hillary Clinton after the former secretary of state suggested on a podcast that Gabbard was Russia’s favored candidate to win the Democratic nomination for president in 2020, according to Yahoo News.
The lawsuit was made public Wednesday morning and claims that the 2016 Democratic nominee permanently damaged the Hawaii congresswoman’s reputation by describing her as a “Russian asset.”
“I’m not making any predictions, but I think they’ve got their eye on someone who’s currently in the Democratic primary and are grooming her to be the third-party candidate. She’s the favorite of the Russian,” Clinton said when she appeared on the podcast Campaign HQ With David Plouffe in October.
In the key remarks to the lawsuit, Clinton added: “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.” It’s not clear whether Clinton was referring to Gabbard, Stein, or both.
Clinton spokesman Nick Merrill subsequently tweeted that Clinton’s comments were being misreported and said she was referring to the Republican Party grooming Gabbard to be a third-party candidate, not the Russians.
The suit claims that Clinton’s statements cause Gabbard to “lose potential donors and potential voters,” and estimated that the personal and professional damages to her exceed $50 million.
Gabbard’s lawyers say Clinton’s comments “spread like wildfire across the internet” and that millions of Americans accepted the statements as fact because they came from a “well-known authority figure.”
“In short, Clinton got exactly what she wanted by lying about Tulsi -- she harmed her political and personal rival’s reputation and ongoing presidential campaign, and started a damaging whisper campaign based on baseless, but vicious, untruths,” the suit continues.