WASHINGTON – Hillary Clinton kicked off a political firestorm last week after making comments about Rep. Tulsi Gabbard’s presidential campaign on an Oct. 17 podcast.
Clinton’s comments were initially erroneously reported as her saying Russians appeared to be “grooming” Gabbard, D-Hawaii, as a potential third-party presidential candidate. Clinton had actually suggested that it was the Republicans who were “grooming” Gabbard.
The problem is, however, that much of the controversy comes from a misquote of Clinton’s remarks.
Clinton’s comments in context
Excerpts of Clinton’s remarks started to go viral after the release of Plouffe’s podcast, but it is important to put them in context since some of the initial reporting missed some crucial context around Clinton’s remarks.
“I’m not making any predictions but I think they’ve got their eye on somebody who is currently in the Democratic primary and are grooming her to be the third-party candidate. She’s the favorite of the Russians,” Hillary Clinton to @davidplouffe https://t.co/DKH7BLTWs8
“They’re also going to do third party. I’m not making any predictions, but 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 the favorite of the Russians, they have a bunch of sites and bots and other ways of supporting her so far, and 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. They know they can’t win without a third party candidate. “