A week after former secretary of state Hillary Clinton claimed that presidential candidate Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii) is a Russian asset, several news outlets have made corrections to their initial stories.
Clinton was speaking on the Campaign HQ podcast with former Obama campaign manager David Plouffe to discuss the 2020 presidential campaign and the challenges the Democratic candidates will face when she made the claim that Gabbard and former Green Party nominee Jill Stein are Russian assets, as IJR has previously reported.
However, some of her comments in a segment about challenges facing the Democrats were misinterpreted. Initially, it was reported Clinton alleged that Russian operatives are grooming Gabbard to run as a third-party candidate.
Clinton’s spokesman, Nick Merill, said she meant Republicans are grooming Gabbard to run as a third-party candidate. A further review of the transcript found that Clinton was indeed talking about Republicans, prompting news outlets to issue corrections to their original stories.
On Monday, Politico issued a correction to its story saying:
“CORRECTION: A previous version of this story misstated Hillary Clinton’s statement about a potential third-party 2020 presidential candidacy by Rep. Tulsi Gabbard. Clinton suggested that Republicans would encourage Gabbard to run as a third-party candidate.”
Wednesday night The New York Times issued a correction to its story:
“An earlier version of this article described incorrectly an element of Hillary Clinton’s recent comments about Representative Tulsi Gabbard. While Mrs. Clinton said that a Democratic presidential candidate was ‘the favorite of the Russians,’ and an aide later confirmed the reference was to Ms. Gabbard, Mrs. Clinton’s remark about the ‘grooming’ of a third-party candidate in the 2020 race was in response to a question about the Republicans’ strategy, not about Russian intervention.”
While Merrill pushed back on claims that Clinton said the Russians are grooming Gabbard, he confirmed that she was the candidate Clinton alleged is a Russian asset saying “If the nesting doll fits.”:
He later repeated the claim that Stein and Gabbard are Russian assets on Twitter, “And yes, she said that certain fringe members of the Democratic and Green parties are assets to the Russians.”
Merrill has continued to claim on Twitter that Gabbard is a Russian asset, sharing a series of news stories he says “make clear what [Clinton] said is simply a fact.”