Former secretary of state Hillary Clinton urged for more “good and particularly young and diverse people” to brave “all kinds of accusations and falsehoods” in politics on Wednesday, less than a month after suggesting 38-year-old Samoan-American Tulsi Gabbard (D., Hawaii) is a “favorite of the Russians” in the 2020 election.
“Get involved and make it less toxic. I think you have to go in very clear eyed about what the current environment in our political system is,” Clinton told the audience during a panel with her husband Bill Clinton and Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg at Georgetown Law School. “You will be a target, and all kinds of accusations and falsehoods will be leveled against you, and online media makes it pervasive, so you do have to understand that [if] you put yourself into the public arena in today’s world, the costs are ones you have to be willing to bear.”
Clinton made headlines earlier this month for suggesting on a podcast that Gabbard — who stated to CNN in August that she would not run as a third-party candidate — may be “a Russian asset” and could run as a third-party candidate to help Republicans. In 2016, Gabbard resigned as vice chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee in order to endorse Senator Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.) over Clinton.
Gabbard responded by calling Clinton “the queen of warmongers, embodiment of corruption, and personification of the rot that has sickened the Democratic Party for so long,” and challenged her to run in 2020. Other Democrats, including Sanders, criticized Clinton for the “outrageous” claim that Gabbard is a foreign asset.
In a Wall Street Journal op-ed published Tuesday, Gabbard stated she was running “to undo Mrs. Clinton’s failed legacy.”
“Hardly a week goes by when I’m not asked a question about how I’m being secretly backed by Russia or other foreign powers—on top of countless other falsehoods intended to destroy my reputation. Those who are indebted to the war machine and the overreaching intelligence agencies, as well as their cheerleaders in the media, are determined to take me down because they know they can’t control me. I’m directly challenging their power,” Gabbard wrote.
At the panel on Wednesday, Bill Clinton left the door open to Hillary running in 2020, saying “she may or may not run for anything, but I’m never running for president again.”