Meet The Press Panel: Hillary’s Attack on Tulsi Gabbard Is ‘Bizarre,’ ‘A Conspiracy Theory’

‘Hillary Clinton just gave her a lifeline’

CHUCK TODD: All right, I'm going to move to the bizarre Hillary Clinton attack, Betsy, on Tulsi Gabbard. First, I want folks to hear it.

[BEGIN TAPE]

HILLARY CLINTON: I think they've got their eye on somebody who's currently in the Democratic primary, and are grooming her to be the third-party candidate. She's a favorite of the Russians... And that's assuming Jill Stein will give it up, which she might not, because she's also a Russian asset.

[END TAPE]

CHUCK TODD: “Also a Russian asset.” Tulsi Gabbard responded, Betsy, "You, the queen of warmongers, embodiment of corruption, personification of the rot that has sickened the Democratic Party for so long... it's now clear that this primary's between you and me. Don't cowardly hide behind your proxies. Join the race directly." Tulsi Gabbard is on the verge of sort of not making it into the next debate. But Hillary Clinton just gave her a lifeline.

BETSY WOODRUFF SWAN: Look, either Hillary Clinton has some very explosive information that none of the rest of the public has access to, or she floated a conspiracy theory about Tulsi Gabbard. Claiming that someone who deployed twice, who joined the military, is covertly being groomed by the Russian government, that's a conspiracy theory. And there's not public evidence for it. And of course, it's understandable that Gabbard would respond with immense anger. Now, to be fair, Gabbard saying that Clinton was using her proxies in the corporate media to conspire to keep her from being a successful candidate also is like, come on. But this particular episode was not awesome.

CHUCK TODD: Joshua, criticize her for hanging out with Bashar al-Assad. That's a fact. None of this other stuff are fact-based.

JOSHUA JOHNSON: Not fact based, and also, I'm just not sure that it, like you said, I'm not sure it's going to make a difference at the end of the day. If she had said this about Elizabeth Warren, totally different story. But Tulsi Gabbard, the center of gravity around her is not that strong. So in the end, this might not move the needle.

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