Democratic Presidential aspirant Tulsi Gabbard has filed a $50-million defamation lawsuit against Hillary Clinton over accusations that she is a “Russian asset.”
The lawsuit, made public earlier this week, stemmed from Clinton’s comments on the podcast Campaign HQ with David Plouffe in October last year that the four-time Hawaii congresswoman was Russia’s favored candidate to win the Democratic nomination for the 2020 presidential race.
“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 Russians,” Clinton’s comments on the podcast.
The lawsuit, filed in the district court of Manhattan, claims that the malicious comments of Clinton, who is a former United States senator and secretary of state, caused Gabbard to “lose potential donors and potential voters” and the estimated personal and professional damages exceed $50-million.
The suit also claims that Clinton has sought revenge on Gabbard ever since the latter endorsed Senator Bernie Sanders in the Democratic primary. “Clinton, a cutthroat politician by any account, has never forgotten this perceived slight…she sought retribution by lying, publicly and loudly, about Tulsi Gabbard,” it states.
Gabbard’s lawyers claimed that 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.”
“Tulsi brings this lawsuit to ensure that the truth prevails and to ensure this country’s political elites are held accountable for intentionally trying to distort the truth in the midst of a critical presidential election, Gabbard’s lawyer said.
For his part, Clinton’s spokesman Nick Merrill clarified in an earlier statement that it was not Russia but the Republican Party that Clinton was referring to as the one grooming Gabbard for a third-party bid.
He also called Gabbard’s lawsuit as “ridiculous” when asked for reactions by the media.
Gabbard is known for her vocal stand against the US meddling in foreign wars and her controversial tenure in Congress, where she defended Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad, who she met with in Damascus in 2017 after the battle of Aleppo and who has been accused of war crimes and gassing his own people.