Democratic presidential candidate and Hawaii Representative Tulsi Gabbard sued Hillary Clinton (2016 Democratic nominee and former Secretary of State) after Clinton called Gabbard “a favorite of the Russians” in October 2019.
2020 contender Tulsi Gabbard alleges that Clinton made ‘defamatory statements’ in ‘deliberate attempt’ to derail her presidential campaign.
The lawsuit claims: “The defamatory statements have caused Tulsi to lose potential donors and potential voters who heard the defamatory statements. Tulsi has suffered significant actual damages, personally and professionally, that are estimated to exceed $50m – and continue to this day.”
Gabbard’s allegations stem from an interview Clinton conducted with the Democratic strategist, author and podcaster David Plouffe in October 2019. Discussing the 2020 primary field, Clinton said of one candidate: “She is a favourite of the Russians.”
Excerpts from the interview: “They have a bunch of sites and bots and other ways of supporting her so far. And, that’s assuming Jill Stein [the Green Party nominee for president in 2016, who received favourable coverage from Russian state media] will give it up, which she might not because she’s also a Russian asset. Yeah, she’s a Russian asset.”
A Clinton spokesman confirmed that Clinton was talking about Gabbard.
“Tulsi is not a Russian asset,” the filing says. “No one – Russia or anyone else – controls her or her presidential campaign.”
The lawsuit claims Clinton made the remark in “retribution” for Gabbard supporting Bernie Sanders in the 2016 primary and describes Clinton as a “cut-throat politician” who has “never forgotten this perceived slight”.
Gabbard also sued Google in 2019, claiming the company suspended her campaign’s advertising after the first Democratic debate in June. A hearing is reportedly set for 27 January, 2020.