Spokesman Says Media ‘Misrepresented’ Hillary Clinton’s Remarks on Russia and Tulsi Gabbard

Former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton delivers the commencement address at the Hunter College Commencement ceremony at Madison Square Garden, May 29, 2019 in New York City. Secretary Clinton received the colleges inaugural Eleanor Roosevelt Distinguished Leadership Award, recognizing her achievements in public service.(Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Hillary Clinton spokesman Nick Merrill claimed on Tuesday that the New York Times wrongly claimed Clinton said the Russians were grooming Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) as a third-party candidate, asserting that the failed presidential candidate was referring to Republicans.

“On Friday, the NYT did a piece about a podcast Secretary Clinton did with David Plouffe. They incorrectly quoted her saying that the ‘Russians’ were ‘grooming’ a candidate running in the Democratic primary,” Merrill wrote.

“They rightfully fixed it to reflect that she was taking [sic] about the GOP,” he added alongside a screenshot of the correction:

The Times did, in fact, update the piece, although there is no editor’s note indicating that the change had been made.

Merrill continued:

I too am tired of talking about this, but let’s again set the record straight. HRC speculated that the only way the GOP is going to win in states where Trump can’t hit a 50% majority is to 1) Suppress the vote, as they do widely and routinely, & 2) Bank on the 3rd party spoiler.

“And yes, she said that certain fringe members of the Democratic and Green parties are assets to the Russians,” he continued. “Well guess what folks? That’s true. She didn’t call anyone a spy, as some are wrongly asserting for their own political gain”:

Merrill’s attempt to soften Clinton’s position did not alter the failed Trump challenger’s sentiment. While Clinton did not explicitly state that the “Russians” are grooming Gabbard, she openly expressed her belief that Gabbard is a “favorite of the Russians” and implied during the interview that she is a “Russian asset.”

“She is a favorite of the Russians. They have a bunch of sites and bots and other ways of supporting her so far. That’s assuming Jill Stein will give it up, which she might not because she is also a Russian asset,” Clinton stated.

“They know they can’t win without a third-party candidate, and so I do not know who it’s going to be, but I can guarantee you they will have a vigorous third-party challenge in the key states that they most need it,” she continued.

Gabbard issued a strong response, calling Clinton “the queen of warmongers, embodiment of corruption, and personification of the rot that has sickened the Democratic Party for so long”:

When asked if Clinton was, in fact, referring to Gabbard in that interview, Clinton spokesman Merrill told NBC News, “If the nesting doll fits.”

Clinton’s attack of Gabbard prompted a response from the president, who said, “I don’t know Tulsi, but she’s not a Russian agent.”

“She’s the one that’s accusing everybody of being a Russian agent,” Trump said. “Anybody that is opposed to her is a Russian agent, so that’s a scam that was pretty much put down.”

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