Gabbard sues Clinton for defamation over ‘Russian asset’ comment

U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard is filing a defamation lawsuit against Hillary Clinton.
U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard is filing a defamation lawsuit against Hillary Clinton.(Hawaii News Now/file)
Updated: Jan. 22, 2020 at 10:41 AM HST
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HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - Hawaii Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard is suing Hillary Clinton for defamation, seeking $50 million in damages.

It’s all over a comment the former secretary of state made in a podcast that suggested the presidential candidate was a Russian asset.

“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,” Clinton told David Plouffe, the podcast’s host.

Clinton also claimed that Russians were “grooming” Gabbard to run as a third-party candidate.

[Read more: ‘The queen of warmongers’: Clinton criticism draws a sharp rebuke from Gabbard]

The lawsuit says Clinton’s statements damaged Gabbard’s reputation and that they ultimately caused a loss of potential donors and voters.

The Hawaii congresswoman did not qualify for the last Democratic debate and continues to struggle in the New Hampshire polls.

“Tulsi has suffered significant actual damages, personally and professionally, that are estimated to exceed $50 million—and continue to this day,” the lawsuit says.

The lawsuit also claims that Clinton had a personal “hatred and animosity” for Gabbard because she backed U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders against Clinton in the 2016 presidential election.

“Clinton has not gotten over her loss in that election and still dwells on what happened. Clinton blames many persons for her loss.”

Lawyers for Gabbard had previously sent a letter to Clinton, demanding a retraction of the statement.

Hawaii News Now has reached out to Gabbard’s campaign and congressional office for further comment.

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