HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - Lawyers for presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard sent a letter to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Monday, demanding a retraction of a statement she made that suggested the Hawaii congresswoman was a Russian asset.
Clinton recently claimed in an interview that the Russians were “grooming” the Hawaii congresswoman to run as a third-party candidate. Gabbard later fired back in a tweet, calling Clinton “the queen of warmongers” and the “personification of the rot that has sickened the Democratic Party for so long.”
In the letter, Gabbard’s lawyers claimed Clinton’s statement was defamatory.
“The statement is false,” the letter said. “Congresswoman Gabbard is not being groomed by Russia to be a third-party candidate. Nor is she a Russian asset. Rather, she is a patriotic loyal American, a sitting four-term United States Congresswoman and a Major in the United States Army National Guard.”
A Clinton spokesman had said the statement was actually about Republicans — not Russians — grooming Gabbard, to which Gabbard’s lawyers referred to as “spin.”
The letter demanded that Clinton hold a press conference immediately to verbally retract her comments, post it on her Twitter page and distribute it to major news outlets with the following script:
"On October 17, 2019, I made certain statements about Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard. Among other things, I accused her of being a Russian asset and that Russia was grooming her to be a third-party presidential candidate.
I was wrong. I never should have made these remarks, and I apologize. I did not have any basis for making the statements. I acknowledge my grave mistake and error in judgment in this matter.
I support and admire the work that Congresswoman Gabbard has done and will continue to do in serving our country."