Tulsi Gabbard D-HI Has Enemies In High Places


From August 2019. Hillary never forgets.

Tulsi Gabbard Has Enemies In High Places

Robbie JaegerAug 11 · 10 min read

How doing the right thing could be costing her everything

The morning of February 28, 2016, Tulsi Gabbard was in a pretty good spot. She was the rising-star Congresswoman from Hawaii, the darling of the Democratic party, whose anti-regime change platform was breathing fresh life into a stagnating institution. She was their future.

But the revelations — revealed by Wikileaks through troves of leaked internal emails — that the Democratic NationalCommittee was actively conspiring against Bernie Sanders in order to ensure Hillary Clinton won the nomination at that years convention changed everything. That day, Tulsi Gabbard took a stand. With her head held high and a smile on her face, she resigned her position as Vice-Chair of the DNC, and not only that, went against her party and publicly endorsed Sanders. The next day, she recieved this email:

Now, this email is hardly new. Wikileaks released it as part of their Podesta Emails series later in 2016. So why am I even bringing it back up? Because it’s relevant, or possibly, it’s consequences are.

Ever since Gabbard announced her bid for the Presidency, she has been subject to the occasional, yet predictable hit-piece. It’s usually an intentionally misrepresented version of her meeting with Syrian president Bashar Al Assad on a diplomatic fact finding mission in 2017, and her subsequent public opposition to US involvement in the conflict .

Most accounts of this story either minimalize or omit completely her also meeting with leaders on the other side of their Civil War, which when coupled with her reluctance to go to war there, is done to make her seem as an “apologist” for a man accused of atrocious humanitarian abuses. The apologist label is untrue, of course, as she has called him a “brutal dictator” and even called for his execution if he were to ever be convicted of war crimes by an international court. Anyone with access to the internet and the desire to be informed can find this information, if they’re willing to search for it. Many either can’t or won’t be bothered. Who has time to read anymore?

Instead, many turn to cable news outlets and social media pundits for their research and information. People look to the press because, let’s face it, they’re supposed to know more than us about what goes on behind the curtain. Make no mistake, they certainly do. They also know that most people will believe what they’re told by the mainstream media.

So when it comes to the easily debunked “Assad” smear hurled at Tulsi Gabbard, one you swear must be true because you’ve heard it a hundred times, how could they all be wrong? It’s almost like they’re all reading out of the same playbook. Maybe. More likely though, they’re all on the same e-mail list. This is why that infamous email matters.

The email at face value looks like nothing more than a couple of disgruntled Democrat fundraisers being salty at Gabbard for not falling in line with the DNC and backing Clinton, and telling her they’re taking their money elsewhere. But it’s the names that matter here, and not only that, but their positions at the companies they work for. The email is written by Darnell Strom on behalf of himself and a man named Michael Kives. Both men, at the time were executives at a global talent representation firm — Creative Artists Agency, or CAA.

Let’s start there.

CAA presents itself as a “Nexus of talent, content, brands, technology, sports, and live events” creating “limitless opportunities for the storytellers, trendsetters, icons, and thought leaders who shape popular culture”. What does that mean? CAA represents thousands of clients across the entire mass media spectrum. From A-List movie stars and news anchors, to sports heroes and big tech CEOs. By putting so many influential and socially exhalted figures under one umbrella, it provides a pathway for ideas to inorganically seep into the cultural lexicon, ideas that can be instantly promoted by your favorite politician and your favorite NBA player simultaneously without the typical observer knowing they got that idea from the same person.

It is the largest such agency of its kind in the world, though there are others like them, namely United Talent Agency, or UTA. UTA is another firm much like CAA with the same function and goals, and years after he authored that email, Darnell Strom would leave CAA to head up the newly launched “Culture and Leadership Division” there. His role is described as working with clients who “want to expand their diverse businesses and cultural influence at the intersection of entertainment, politics, the arts, and thought leadership” enabling clients to “connect and create big, bold, brave ideas…across all mediums”. He also described UTA as a “creative hub” for leading voices, helping them “build businesses and find global audiences in unexpected places”.

Except, it’s completely expected. Wouldn’t it be easier to get an interview on CNN to promote your book when you and Chris Cuomo share an agent? Maybe get your up and coming football star on Jimmy Fallon? How about to promote a candidate on The View? Or simply a push talking point on all of the above?

See where this is going?

Michael Kives was a long time agent and executive at CAA, before which he worked on the staffs of both Bill and Hillary Clinton. He used his Hollywood connections as a tool for massive fundraisers for Hillary Clinton during her 2008 and 2016 bid for president, and why not? You have a rolodex full of millionaires you know on a first name basis, you might as well make the most of it. At no time was that more apparent than at Kives’ own wedding in November of 2018.

The Hollywood Reporter’s headline read: “Wedding or Power Summit?”. It was an apt description. The ceremony was attended by Bill and Hillary Clinton, Cory Booker, Elon Musk, Google CEO Eric Schmidt, Crown Prince Hussein of Jordan, and Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg. Also, none other than Kamala Harris, who Kives donated $5,000 to, was supposed to attend but had to cancel according to THR’s sources.

As a matter of fact, CAA employees were the 8th largest donor to Harris’ “Fearless for the People” leadership PAC, to the tune of $16,500 that year. CAA as a whole donated almost $479,000 to candidates and PACs in 2018, with Cory Booker, Kamala Harris, Beto O’Rourke, and Elizabeth Warren all getting donations of $11,000 or higher.

Oh, and CAA represents all of Joe Biden’s interests. So, the next time you see a debate where you think Anderson Cooper is going easy on him, just remember they have the same agent, and he likely not only had a role in arranging and scheduling the debate, but also likely prepped both of them on a PR level beforehand.

The real implications of these monopolistic relationships are frightening to think about. Kives has since left CAA to start his own advisory firm, K5 Global (with praise from Warren Buffett, no less), whose website is blank except a logo and an email address for inquiries. It seems K5 and CAA are still affiliated in some way, as a Glassdoor listing describes it as such, but K5 does not have a public client list, nor is there much more information available about the firm or its business activities.

The two men in that email are some of the most connected and powerful men in the country, and they have a grudge against Tulsi Gabbard that they have held since the day she stepped down from the DNC. Now, it could be the reason for her constant battle against slanted coverage, media smear jobs, and marginalized publicity.

While a massive network of elites may do well in the world of political fundraising, ask yourself another question: How well does it work in the world of information dissemination? An agent’s job is simple, really: find the most profitable outcome for your clients interests. If those interests get roasted on national television, you have to fight back, quickly, and with a vengeance.

At the second Democratic debate on CNN, Tulsi Gabbard took Kamala Harris to task on her polarizing record as California AG. The moment was a star turn for Gabbard, and a major blow for Harris on a national stage. Interests were threatened.

Suddenly, that email from 2016 feels like it was written yesterday.

Almost immediately the anti-Tulsi smears and hit pieces hit social media.

Although Gabbard was by far the most searched candidate on Google after the debates (both debates she was in, mind you) the number one trend on Twitter that night was, you guessed it, #Assad. Anderson Cooper was asking about it in the CNN Spin Room.

Ana Kasparian was tweeting ferociously about Tulsi being an apologist for dictators.

Jake Tapper, Chris Cuomo, Bill Maher, Whoopi Goldberg all ask her about Assad over the ensuing days, trying to squeeze yet another denunciation that is neither warranted or necessary.

It felt coordinated. For all we know, it may have been.

All of those names can be connected to a handful of people, maybe even one person. Michael Kives and Darnell Strom told Tulsi Gabbard in no uncertain terms that she had made enemies out of them.

When they said their company wouldn’t be helping her, can anyone argue they didn’t mean blacklist? The “company” as they call it is Hollywood. The “company” is the mainstream media. Big tech. The “company” is everything.

One phone call, one email, one Twitter DM — that’s all it would take for the most trusted brand handler and talent agent in the world to get his message on every cable news show. If that message is “candidate x is bad”, and it reaches 10’s of millions of people every single day, you will win the information war. People will believe it because it’s coming from multiple “reputable” sources. If ABC, CNN, and MSNBC are all reporting the same thing, it’s probably true, right? I mean, they’re competitors, and separate entities, there’s no way they could all be calling the same guy for advice, is there?

Well, they might be.

Here is a non exhaustive list of CAA and UTA clients in the Mainstream and Social Media news sphere. Yes, it is very possible all of these people are on the same email list:

CAA Clients:

  • Anderson Cooper
  • Alyssa Milano
  • Ana Navarro
  • Bette Midler
  • Bill Maher
  • Biz Stone (Twitter Co-Founder)
  • Bob Scheiffer
  • Bob Woodward
  • Carl Bernstein
  • Chris Cuomo
  • Charlamagne
  • Colin Jost
  • Connie Chung
  • Dan Pfieffer (Obama Advisor)
  • David Farenthold
  • David Kushner
  • Donna Brazile
  • Elizabeth Vargas
  • Frank Luntz
  • Gayle King
  • Ian Bremmer
  • James Corden
  • Jemele Hill
  • Jim Sciutto
  • Jimmy Fallon
  • Joe Biden
  • Katy Tur
  • Mark Cuban
  • Martha Raddatz
  • Rob Reiner
  • Seth Macfarlane
  • Stephanie Ruhle
  • Stephen Colbert
  • Susan Rice
  • Valerie Jarrett
  • Van Jones
  • Whoopi Goldberg

UTA Clients:

  • Ana Kasparian
  • Ben Shapiro
  • Cenk Uygur
  • Chuck Todd
  • Clint Watts
  • Dana Bash
  • Dan Abrams
  • Dan Harris
  • Don Lemon
  • George Takei
  • Gloria Borger
  • John Kasich
  • Harold Ford Jr.
  • Jake Tapper
  • Jeffrey Toobin
  • Jim Acosta
  • Max Boot
  • Matt Gutman
  • Malcolm Turnbull
  • Michael Moore
  • Poppy Harlow
  • Preet Bharara
  • Rod Rosenstein
  • Seth Meyers
  • Sir Howard Stringer (Sony Chairman of the Board)
  • Symone Sanders
  • Valerie Biden Owens

Like the late, great George Carlin said: “It’s a big club”. And Tulsi Gabbard ain’t in it.

Look at the names on that list. It’s a “who’s who” of mass media, and it’s but a fraction of the clientele these two companies represent. The influence these agencies and their executives hold is beyond the realm of imagination. One can only ponder the possibilities of the power of possessing access to a network of such size and scope.

It’s information control, the power to seamlessly transfer ideas from one side of the societal spectrum to the other under the guise of genuine public response or outrage.

What has happened to Tulsi Gabbard since she did the right thing and endorsed Bernie Sanders is a cautionary tale for those who dare to thumb their nose at the status quo and upset the establishment apple cart.

It won’t stop with her. The machine will keep going. Watch how fast the media reacts to the Democratic party’s chosen few — Biden, Warren, Harris, Booker — whenever outside negativity starts to throw cold water on their records. The spin will come hard and fast, just like it did in 2016. Just like it always has.

The most disturbing part of the email from Strom and Kives was Kives’ own response to it after it was forwarded to him. It was two words: “Hamme(r) Dropped”. They hoped it was on the nail in Gabbard’s political coffin. The establishment will never back her. They will never let her win. They’ll always dismiss her. They’ll always fear her. She stands up for what’s right. She doesn’t just fall in line. She stands for the truth. She fights.

Tulsi Gabbard’s strength as a candidate is only outweighed by her power as a voice of unity in a world that the elite want kept weak and divided. That’s why they need all of the Media and Hollywood’s help to take her down. If she were to gain traction, the game is over.

Many have called Gabbard an isolationist, and if that’s true, it’s only in the sense of doing the right thing, even if it means sacrificing her career, her future, and her personal goals. But that’s ok — she’s used to being on an island.


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The Hillary Clinton-Tulsi Gabbard feud, explained

Neither of them come out looking particularly good.

By Zack Beauchamp Oct 22, 2019, 8:40am EDT

Hillary Clinton emerged from relative political obscurity last week to claim that Tulsi Gabbard, a Democratic presidential candidate and member of Congress from Hawaii, was “the favorite of the Russians” prepping for a third-party spoiler run during a podcast interview. She went so far as to imply that the representative was “a Russian asset.”

Gabbard fired back by calling Clinton “the queen of warmongers, embodiment of corruption, and personification of the rot that has sickened the Democratic Party.” In Gabbard’s telling, her party’s 2016 nominee was behind “a concerted campaign to destroy my reputation ... through your proxies and powerful allies in the corporate media and war machine.”

“It’s now clear that this primary is between you and me,” Gabbard, who is at 1.2 percent in the RealClearPolitics primary polling average, concluded. “Don’t cowardly hide behind your proxies. Join the race directly.”

This is a bizarrely intense fight given that these two are members of the same party. Clinton suggesting Gabbard is the Kremlin’s chosen agent for destroying the Democrats in 2020? Gabbard accusing Clinton of being the puppet master behind a massive conspiracy against her? Are these people serious?

Unfortunately, the answer to that question is “yes” — in ways that reveal some troubling tendencies among American liberals and leftists today.

On Clinton’s part, the accusation reflects a remarkable overestimation of Russian influence on the part of certain Democratic Party loyalists — and a corresponding willingness to fling around baseless allegations of people they don’t like being aligned with the Kremlin agents. At bottom, it’s a conspiratorial way of viewing the world that disconnects Democrats from reality.

Gabbard’s bizarre counter-allegations of a Clinton conspiracy reflect the way in which her nominally anti-war politics are actually a kind of pro-authoritarian, conspiratorial worldview — particularly on Syria, an issue at the top of the political agenda right now. Her approach has a handful of fans on the party’s left flank but has really found its base on the pro-Trump right, real-life proof the horseshoe theory of the political spectrum has actual merit.

Fortunately, these tendencies do not seem to be afflicting any of the top contenders for the party’s nomination at the moment. Politicians closer to the center like former Vice President Joe Biden and South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg don’t sound like Clinton; left-wing candidates like Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders don’t sound like Gabbard. But this ugly fight exposes real internal problems on the (broadly construed) left half of the American political spectrum, ones that liberals and leftists cannot and should not ignore.

What Hillary Clinton gets wrong about Tulsi Gabbard and why it matters

To be fair to Clinton, one can see why she would think it’s plausible that Gabbard is Russia’s favorite candidate in the 2020 primary.

Gabbard is a combat veteran and US Army reservist who has made issues of war and peace the central plank of her campaign platform. She has sold herself as a non-interventionist, a critic of “regime change” and “endless war.” In practice, though, Gabbard’s record doesn’t fully bear this stance out. She has long spoken favorably about American use of force when it’s not directed at toppling dictators, arguing that the US needs to refocus on fighting Islamist terrorists.

As far back as 2015, she has been advocating that the US work with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad — and his chief ally, Russia — in fighting ISIS and extremist factions among the Syrian rebels. This view has led her to take a remarkably pro-Russia stance on the Syria conflict, even when it clashes with the policies of her own party’s president and standard-bearer.
Al-Qaeda attacked us on 9/11 and must be defeated. Obama won’t bomb them in Syria. Putin did. #neverforget911
— Tulsi Gabbard (@TulsiGabbard) October 1, 2015

In January 2017, she traveled to Syria and met with Assad personally, catching the Democratic leadership in Congress off-guard. After returning to the US, she went on CNN and parroted the regime’s line that there was “no difference” between the mainstream anti-Assad rebels and ISIS. At last week’s Democratic debate, she described the Turkish invasion of northeastern Syria, which is controlled by America’s Kurdish allies, as “yet another negative consequence of the regime change war we’ve been waging in Syria” — a false description of what happened that seemed to let Trump’s troop withdrawal off the hook.

The Kremlin may be taking notice. One recent analysis from the Alliance for Securing Democracy (an electoral interference monitoring group) found that Russian state media has given Gabbard disproportionate coverage relative to her poll numbers. It also documented Twitter bots that appear to be of Russian origin being active on her behalf. That said, the extent to which Russian bots are working to promote Gabbard is contested, and it’s not clear that Clinton is justified in saying that Gabbard is Russia’s favorite.

But Clinton’s comment seems to go further than that. Take a look at the full context from an episode of Campaign HQ, former Obama aide David Plouffe’s podcast. It seems to suggest that Gabbard is not only Russia’s favorite but actually its agent in the Democratic Party:
PLOUFFE: [Trump is] going to try to drive people not to vote for him, but to say you can’t vote for them either...
CLINTON: They’re also going to do third party again. And I’m not making any predictions, but I think they’ve got their eye on somebody [Gabbard] who is 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 [Green Party 2016 candidate] Jill Stein will give it up, which she might not, because she’s also a Russian asset.

Now Clinton is not saying that Russia is “grooming” Gabbard as an agent — which many media outlets initially reported. Rather, she’s saying that Trump and the GOP are grooming Gabbard to be a third-party candidate, while she’s simultaneously getting outside support from the Russians.

But the use of the word “also” in that last line about Jill Stein seems to heavily imply that Gabbard is a Russian agent. While it’s not clear if that’s what Clinton meant to say, her phrasing was at best sloppy and at worst making an inflammatory accusation against Gabbard (and Stein) without real evidence.

It’s hard to overstate how serious it is to accuse a politician you don’t like of being an actual agent of a hostile power, of working to undermine the United States from within. The fact that Russian mouthpieces seem to approve of Gabbard and Stein is hardly sufficient to level such a grave charge.

Yet Clinton’s comments are not a one-off: they reflect a tendency among Democratic loyalists, both in the elite and rank and file, to throw around charges of Russian influence without much grounding in fact.

The most extreme manifestations of this are Twitter personalities like Louise Mensch and Claude Taylor, self-appointed Russia experts who built up a following among hardcore #resistance types by constantly predicting the reveal of proof that Trump is in Putin’s thrall — evidence that never seems to materialize. This strain of pure fantasy never became influential in the party, but there is a more attenuated version that did: Democratic politicians and liberal media outlets have frequently overhyped Trump-Russia connections or Russian penetration of the American political system, assigning it a degree of influence over American politicians and the voters’ minds that has not been supported by evidence.


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Clinton’s comments are emblematic of this more subtle version of Russian overhype. It’s a worldview that conveniently exonerates Clinton for her 2016 defeat, suggesting that the Russians rather than Clinton’s own missteps decided the election. It’s a kind of epistemic poison, leading Democrats astray in a similar-but-much-smaller-scale way that Fox News narratives mislead Republicans. When you develop a vision of American electoral politics that overstates Russian power, you end up missing what actually matters.

Somewhat ironically, it’s also one that helps the Russians. The Kremlin’s email hacking and bot-tweeting campaigns were first and foremost designed to stoke divisions and inflame partisanship in the United States, turning up the heat on American partisan disputes and limiting the US government’s ability to coherently counter Russia’s aggressive foreign policy. Calling your political enemies Russian agents certainly helps this goal along.

“Putin can rejoice in the actions of the latter-day witch-hunters who are forever spying Russian influence,” Mark Galeotti, a Russia expert at the Royal United Services Institute, writes in the Moscow Times. “By turning political debate into a hunt for traitors, it generates the very kind of toxic, suspicious political culture that undermines the bonds of solidarity and civility that underpin democratic societies.”

There are good reasons to be skeptical of Gabbard’s stances on foreign policy. But Clinton’s insinuations of dark connections between her and the Kremlin absent solid evidence help no one.

What Tulsi Gabbard gets wrong about Hillary Clinton and why it matters

Gabbard’s response to Clinton was, if anything, even worse than the original comments.

While Clinton never outright says that Gabbard is a Russian plant, merely heavily implying it, Gabbard accuses Clinton of masterminding a gigantic conspiracy against her without the slightest shred of evidence. She did so first in a series of tweets on Friday:
Great! Thank you @HillaryClinton. You, the queen of warmongers, embodiment of corruption, and personification of the rot that has sickened the Democratic Party for so long, have finally come out from behind the curtain. From the day I announced my candidacy, there has been a ...
— Tulsi Gabbard (@TulsiGabbard) October 18, 2019
... powerful allies in the corporate media and war machine, afraid of the threat I pose.

It’s now clear that this primary is between you and me. Don’t cowardly hide behind your proxies. Join the race directly.
— Tulsi Gabbard (@TulsiGabbard) October 18, 2019

She continued to hammer home this theme in the days after. In an official video released on Sunday, she accuses an unspecified “they” (presumably Democratic elites) of organizing to “destroy” and “discredit” anyone who dissents from their official line. On Monday, she tweeted out a video of a friendly interview she did with Fox News host Tucker Carlson in which she accuses “Hillary Clinton, her proxies, [and] the warmongering establishment” of “conducting this coordinated smear campaign.”

The idea that Clinton is masterminding some kind of coordinated smear campaign in the media, that all of Gabbard’s critics are Clinton “proxies,” is the textbook definition of a conspiracy theory. But it’s hardly the first time Gabbard has embraced outlandish ideas that happen to flatter her worldview.

When Bashar al-Assad’s forces used chemical weapons against Syrian civilians in April 2017, Gabbard said she was “skeptical” that Assad was responsible, aligning herself with conspiracy theorists against both US intelligence and the overwhelming majority of independent experts.

Gabbard’s penchant for strangely reasoned defenses of militant foreign strongmen — she’s an avowed fan of India’s anti-Muslim, illiberal Prime Minister Narendra Modi — has contributed to her marginalization not only from both the Clintonite Democratic center but the also the Warren-Sanders left. Only a few on the so-called “anti-imperialist” left support her, a group made up of relatively obscure Twitter pundits with about as much influence on the actually existing Democratic Party as Louise Mensch and Claude Taylor. Her lack of a meaningful factional support base is a big reason why her poll numbers have been low for the entire primary.

But her appearance on Carlson’s show reveals how she’s succeeded in building a different fanbase: pro-Trump conservatives.

Gabbard has progressive views on domestic policy, despite some past stances to the contrary. But centering her political appeal on her foreign policy, where she’s honestly not very far from Donald Trump, has made her some fans in MAGA-world. Ben Domenech, the publisher of the devotedly pro-Trump website The Federalist, donated $250 to Gabbard’s campaign. Steve Bannon has expressed admiration for her; so too have leading figures in the alt-right.

What this points to is a certain commonality, at the very extreme ends of the spectrum, between left-wing critique of “American empire” and right-wing isolationism — a foreign policy variant of the “horseshoe theory” of political ideology, which posits some factions on the extremes are closer to each other than those on the center-left and center-right.

The left-wing variant starts from the idea that America has evil intentions for the rest of the world — that it is, in fact, the largest threat to global stability on the planet. The right-wing version argues that the United States has no obligation to the rest of the world; that the US needs to put “America First,” even when it means ignoring suffering abroad.

These doctrines converge on the idea that the United States needs to stay out of foreign conflicts and even sometimes cross the line into outright apologia for bad actors abroad. This is how Assad and his Russian backers get painted as potential allies against jihadism rather than the human rights abusers they are, both by Gabbard and by Trumpists.

I don’t mean to draw equivalences here. While Gabbard only has a handful of fans on the left, Donald Trump is the president of the United States. But Gabbard’s embrace of anti-Clinton conspiracies and foreign autocrats shows how a strain of left-wing analysis, applied sophomorically, can lead to pretty ugly places. She’s a useful cautionary tale at a time when the left’s stock is rising on the Democratic side of the aisle.


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dublinbay z6 (KS)

Nice of a dedicated Trumpster to worry so much about a Democratic candidate.


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Van Jones: Hillary Clinton Is Playing A 'Dangerous Game' With Tulsi Gabbard Remarks

Kimberley Richards

3 days ago

CNN host Van Jones criticized Hillary Clinton for her recent remarks suggesting Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii) was “a favorite of the Russians” in the 2020 presidential race.

“She’s playing a very dangerous game,” Jones said during a segment on “Erin Burnett Out Front” on Friday.

“Hillary Clinton, if you’re concerned about disinformation ― what the Russians do, is they spread disinformation and get us divided against each other ― that is what just happened. Just throw out some information ... disinformation, smear somebody,” he continued.

Jones’ remarks were in response to Clinton’s Thursday appearance on the podcast “Campaign HQ With David Plouffe.”

During a conversation about the 2020 election with Plouffe, former senior adviser to Barack Obama, Clinton appeared to single out Gabbard, before unleashing accusations about Jill Stein’s 2016 presidential campaign and Russia. (Stein slammed Clinton’s comments on Twitter.)

“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,” Clinton said during the interview.

She continued, “She’s a favorite of the Russians, they have a bunch of sites and bots and other ways of supporting her so far.”

Though many interpreted Clinton’s “grooming” comment as referring to the Russians, Clinton spokesperson Nick Merrill said on Twitter on Friday that the 2016 Democratic presidential nominee was referencing the Republican Party.

Before making her “grooming” remarks, Clinton and Plouffe were sharing their thoughts on President Donald Trump’s election strategy.

The former secretary of state did not reference Gabbard by name in that conversation, but when Merrill was asked by NBC News this week to confirm Gabbard was her target, he replied: “If the nesting doll fits.”

Gabbard, who has repeatedly said she would not run as a third-party candidate if she loses the Democratic nomination, fired back at Clinton’s claims in a series of tweets on Friday.

The presidential hopeful and Iraq War veteran similarly criticized The New York Times on Tuesday’s Ohio debate stage after it reported that Russian news media had frequently mentioned her.

Great! Thank you @HillaryClinton. You, the queen of warmongers, embodiment of corruption, and personification of the rot that has sickened the Democratic Party for so long, have finally come out from behind the curtain. From the day I announced my candidacy, there has been a ...— Tulsi Gabbard (@TulsiGabbard) October 18, 2019

Elsewhere in the CNN segment with Burnett, Jones, who referred to Clinton as a

”legend,” suggested there was a “backstory” to the Gabbard-Clinton-Russia debacle.

He pointed to Gabbard’s decision to resign as vice chair of the Democratic National Committee in 2016 to endorse Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) for president.

“It’s been payback hell ever since,” Jones charged.

He later added, “I do not want somebody of her [Clinton’s] stature to legitimate these kind of attacks against anybody ― if you’ve got real evidence, come forward with it, but if you’re just going to smear people casually on podcast, you’re playing right into the Russians’ hands.”

Watch the entire CNN segment here.This article originally appeared on HuffPost.

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dublinbay z6 (KS)

Nice of a dedicated Trumpster to worry so much about a Democratic candidate.


Well, the future IS female, so we're told.

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Tulsi Gabbard gets a boost in Iowa thanks to Hillary Clinton

  • By ALEXANDRA JAFFE Associated Press

  • Oct 19, 2019

  • WEST BRANCH, Iowa — Hillary Clinton's suggestion this past week that Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard is being "groomed" by Russians to act as a spoiler in the 2020 race may have had the opposite effect of what the 2016 Democratic presidential nominee intended: It's elevated Gabbard's candidacy and may have inspired even more ardent interest in her campaign among Clinton critics.

    On Saturday, Gabbard found fans among the many Clinton skeptics across Iowa, where Clinton barely won the 2016 Democratic caucuses against Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders.

    "What is this horrible thing that Hillary said about you?" one person asked Gabbard at a house party in West Branch.

    Gabbard responded that "it revealed the truth that I have been experiencing for a long time now — which is that, because I have been trying to bring about an end to our country's long-held foreign policy of waging one regime-change war after the next . I am labeled as a traitor."

    "This is a message that is being sent to every single American . who speaks out for peace," she said.

    Gabbard's longshot campaign came under scrutiny this past week after Clinton appeared on a podcast where she did not mention the Hawaii congresswoman by name, but said she believes the Russians have "got their eye on somebody who's currently in the Democratic primary and are grooming her to be the third party candidate." There was no mistaking whom she meant.

    Although Russian interest in Gabbard is apparent, Clinton produced no evidence that Moscow is grooming or directly backing the congresswoman.

    Gabbard's campaign has been promoted by Russian state-owned media and a number of alt-right websites and defended on Twitter by the Russian Embassy. She's previously faced controversy and criticism from leaders in her party for her unorthodox foreign policy positions, like her decision to meet Syrian President Bashar Assad.

    On Friday and Saturday, Gabbard refused to disavow the support she's seen from Russian actors and alt-right sites. But she repeatedly said she will not run as an independent or third-party candidate if she doesn't win the Democratic nomination.

    And Gabbard encountered supporters across eastern Iowa on Saturday. During a campaign stop in Iowa City at a University of Iowa tailgate, a man came up to give Gabbard a ushanka-style yellow Hawkeye hat.

    "It's a Russian hat!" Gabbard said with a laugh, before hugging the man and taking a picture with him.

    And at the West Branch house party, Gabbard found many Clinton critics who were supportive of her campaign.

    Clinton's comments were "divisive and despicable," said Patricia McIntosh, 83, a semi-retired university employee who liked Gabbard's "anti-regime-change message." McIntosh said: "I have no respect for Hillary Clinton at all."

    Robert Rodriguez, a 35-year-old food delivery driver, drove from Minneapolis to see Gabbard speak. He, too, appreciated Gabbard's anti-war stance and said Clinton had "sowed division in this primary" with her critique. He also noted Gabbard's support from some alt-right websites

    He asked: "You have people praising candidates for being able to reach across the aisle and garner support from the so-called other side, but Tulsi's a problem because she has support from the other side? Isn't that what we want?"

    Both Rodriguez and McIntosh described themselves as longtime Gabbard fans and skeptics of the Democratic establishment, and both said they weren't sure if they'd support the eventual nominee if neither Gabbard nor Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, another anti-establishment candidate for president, didn't win.

    But Gabbard also managed to win over some people who hadn't been familiar with her campaign, like Jennifer Rogers, a 38-year-old nurse from North Liberty, Iowa, who liked that Gabbard was a military veteran.

    "I really like that she answers questions," she said. "She doesn't just shout talking points and campaign slogans." Rogers said she's been on the fence but "today I'm pretty convinced that I think she's going to be my candidate."

    Still, it's unclear exactly what Gabbard hopes to achieve with her unorthodox campaign, as she's struggled to raise money and hit the polling threshold to make it on the debate stage. She has yet to qualify for next month's debate.

    Gabbard has just three staff members on the ground in Iowa.

    Asked whether she plans to add staff in any of the early states, Gabbard demurred.

    She said she's "continuing to use every platform possible to reach voters directly" when asked about her path to the nomination, and wouldn't predict how she'd finish in Iowa. But she suggested that might not matter — even if she doesn't have enough delegates to win, "we're taking this all the way to the nomination."


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Tulsi Gabbard D-HI Has Friends In High Places

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Guess it's hoped we'll read all the relevant articles from all these media outlets.

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Zalco/bring back Sophie!

Wow, just wow. Thank you for the information. Veritas Liberababit Vos.

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Tulsi proved with her remarks that she does not have the necessary temperament that I would want in a President. She lashed out without thinking similar to what Trump does when he does not get his way. Try to imagine if a head of state from another country would say something that she did not like. The similarities to Trump have been there for a long time just not out in the open.

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When I first read that letter shortly after it was released I wondered who the two who wrote it were, but wasn't interested enough to actually look. Reading this part I thought, CAA sounds like a troll farm.

"By putting so many influential and socially exhalted figures under one umbrella, it provides a pathway for ideas to inorganically seep into the cultural lexicon, ideas that can be instantly promoted by your favorite politician and your favorite NBA player simultaneously without the typical observer knowing they got that idea from the same person."

I think I'm right.

The Medium article is pretty good. The others, not so much.

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Tulsi Gabbard's new video message for Crooked Hillary:

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This is a much better article than those except the first in the o.p.

"AARON MATÉ: Welcome to Pushback. I’m Aaron Maté, here with Max Blumenthal, the senior editor of The Grayzone, author of several books, including his latest, The Management of Savagery. Max, we’re talking today about Hillary Clinton’s comments about Tulsi Gabbard and Jill Stein, Clinton calling Stein a Russian asset and suggesting that the Russians are, quote, “grooming” Tulsi Gabbard to run as a third party candidate. This seemingly came out of nowhere, but then you had a parade of Clinton flunkies, people who worked for her or who are associated with her coming out to also slam Tulsi Gabbard in this way. So it seemed kind of coordinated. Whatever it was it was shocking to see and the reaction has been quite striking. Tulsi Gabbard hit back pretty hard. What do you make of what Hillary Clinton said today and why she said it?

MAX BLUMENTHAL: Well, I think people won’t be surprised with my reaction to it, and, you know, I agree with everything that you’ve said on Twitter and elsewhere. I think it’s important to look a little deeper at what’s going on here. First of all, one of the reasons that you and I were really so disgusted with the narrative of Russiagate was that we saw what was coming down the pike, and I said so in early 2017, that this whole narrative would blow back on the left and would be used to enforce conformity on issues of war and peace, in support of the former against the latter. And we’re seeing that play out in real time with Hillary Clinton’s attacks on Tulsi Gabbard. It was clear to me as soon as Tulsi Gabbard got into the race that even though she has absolutely no connection to Russia at all, she was going to be smeared this way because this is the McCarthyite venomous poison that Hillary Clinton has brought into the Democratic Party, along with the national security state figures like John Brennan, James Clapper. I mean, basically they have turned principled resistance against Trump and Trumpism into a collection of spooks, dupes and Cold War kooks. And our worst warnings are being fulfilled. Tulsi Gabbard’s been smeared as Russian asset, she’s been basically accused of committing a crime that could hold the death penalty by someone with a multi-million dollar sleaze operation. Not only that, Jill Stein, who’s basically back to, I think, like, private practice as a pediatrician in Boston, who has no political network at all, was also called a Russian agent by Hillary Clinton.

Now, the first point I want to make is that, if we’re going to look a little bit deeper at this, this was a coordinated attack, and Tulsi Gabbard and her response hinted at part of the logic behind it, which is that Hillary Clinton has several candidates in the race who, you know, their campaigns are staffed by Hillary Clinton’s former staff, they’re basically representing the politics of Clintonism in the race, and this is their way of destroying an emergent trend in the party which is somewhat non-partisan but is also, you know, anti-war, which reflects the sentiments of Americans across the country, including a lot of the working-class people who are, you know, following Trump into the Republican Party. It was coordinated. The question was, was it wise? Was it wise for Hillary Clinton and her sleaze network, her corporate-funded sleaze network which really grew out of her campaign, where she just had so much Wall Street money and defense industry money and money coming from all of these elite quarters, that she was just giving all her buddies little payoffs here and there, and now they’re just kind of lurking out there, looking for something to direct their sleaze at? And it becomes Tulsi Gabbard.

A lot of Americans respected and admired Hillary Clinton, especially women, for standing up to Donald Trump, for, like, standing up to him in the debates, going toe-to-toe with someone who is clearly a sexist bully. But now she’s attacking a young woman, one of the youngest people to actually run in a Democratic primary who served on the frontlines in combat in the evil war that Hillary Clinton cheer-led and voted for in Iraq. And she’s punching down against someone, a veteran, calling her a traitor, who doesn’t have a multi-million dollar sleaze operation, who is a minor protest candidate. And she’s punching down against a pediatrician in Boston. This makes Hillary Clinton not only look conspiratorial [but] makes her look like a sadistic bully. It makes her look Trumpian. And so we have to question the wisdom of this because Hillary Clinton isn’t actually running for anything. But it appears that she’s trying to clear space for figures like Kamala Harris and Cory Booker who feel — especially Kamala Harris — who feel really threatened by Tulsi Gabbard, and who actually got humiliated by Tulsi Gabbard on stage. So that’s what I think is going on here.

I do think it shows kind of a split in the party on foreign policy and it shows that one wing of the party no longer cares about reality. They don’t care about facts. They’ve been so inculcated into the paranoia of the new Cold War that conspiratorial thinking…that they actually believe that this has an impact. It started with “Moscow Mitch.” No one challenged “Moscow Mitch,” no one cared about, you know, this kind of oligarchic Kentucky Republican who’s the Senate Majority Leader being smeared on the progressive left, even though there was also….there was very little basis for calling him that. And the Clinton wing of the party and the DNC party elites, they got this libidinal satisfaction out of calling Mitch McConnell “Moscow Mitch.” So then they move on to Tulsi Gabbard, and I think we’re seeing them start to get some pushback.

The question is, who’s next? And I think the next target is inevitable. It’s a Jewish socialist who took a trip to the USSR and Nicaragua who actually challenges the Clinton wing of the party in a much more substantial way than Tulsi Gabbard, and so I see this as a pilot program for the next phase of attacks."

More at link: https://thegrayzone.com/2019/10/20/max-blumenthal-on-why-hillary-clinton-smeared-tulsi-gabbard-and-jill-stein/

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dublinbay z6 (KS)

I can't get interested enough to plow through those loooong articles.


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The Medium article in the o.p. reminds me of the well known book analyzing the idea "manufacturing consent". Here is a clip from a brief article and a link to the rest.

" They had a problem at that time. The country was becoming formally more democratic. A lot more people were able to vote and that sort of thing. The country was becoming wealthier and more people could participate and a lot of new immigrants were coming in, and so on.

So what do you do? It’s going to be harder to run things as a private club. Therefore, obviously, you have to control what people think. There had been public relation specialists but there was never a public relations industry. There was a guy hired to make Rockefeller’s image look prettier and that sort of thing. But this huge public relations industry, which is a U.S. invention and a monstrous industry, came out of the first World War. The leading figures were people in the Creel Commission. In fact, the main one, Edward Bernays, comes right out of the Creel Commission. He has a book that came out right afterwards called Propaganda. The term “propaganda,” incidentally, did not have negative connotations in those days. It was during the second World War that the term became taboo because it was connected with Germany, and all those bad things. But in this period, the term propaganda just meant information or something like that. So he wrote a book called Propaganda around 1925, and it starts off by saying he is applying the lessons of the first World War. The propaganda system of the first World War and this commission that he was part of showed, he says, it is possible to “regiment the public mind every bit as much as an army regiments their bodies.” These new techniques of regimentation of minds, he said, had to be used by the intelligent minorities in order to make sure that the slobs stay on the right course. We can do it now because we have these new techniques.

This is the main manual of the public relations industry. Bernays is kind of the guru. He was an authentic Roosevelt/Kennedy liberal. He also engineered the public relations effort behind the U.S.-backed coup which overthrew the democratic government of Guatemala.

His major coup, the one that really propelled him into fame in the late 1920s, was getting women to smoke. Women didn’t smoke in those days and he ran huge campaigns for Chesterfield. You know all the techniques—models and movie stars with cigarettes coming out of their mouths and that kind of thing. He got enormous praise for that. So he became a leading figure of the industry, and his book was the real manual.

Another member of the Creel Commission was Walter Lippmann, the most respected figure in American journalism for about half a century (I mean serious American journalism, serious think pieces). He also wrote what are called progressive essays on democracy, regarded as progressive back in the 1920s. He was, again, applying the lessons of the work on propaganda very explicitly. He says there is a new art in democracy called manufacture of consent. That is his phrase. Edward Herman and I borrowed it for our book, but it comes from Lippmann. So, he says, there is this new art in the method of democracy, “manufacture of consent.” By manufacturing consent, you can overcome the fact that formally a lot of people have the right to vote. We can make it irrelevant because we can manufacture consent and make sure that their choices and attitudes will be structured in such a way that they will always do what we tell them, even if they have a formal way to participate. So we’ll have a real democracy. It will work properly. That’s applying the lessons of the propaganda agency."


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Zalco/bring back Sophie!

I love the long articles. Thanks for the Blumenthal & Chomsky pieces.

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You're welcome Zalco. I do too, especially those that offer a different perspective. However, posting these sorts of things seems a sure-fire way to kill a thread!

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But Tulsi has her friends...

Well it seems the NY Times Hillary-hate is still ongoing:

In fact, the actual thing Clinton said was that Republicans were grooming Gabbard to be a third-party spoiler candidate in 2020.

OOPS. New York Times Corrects Their Hillary Clinton Lie
"paper of record" claimed the former Secretary of State said that the
Russians were grooming a Democratic candidate for a third party run.
Spoiler. That is not what she said.
By Aliza Worthington


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I don't love the long article.

I do love passages that are well written and offer a perspective not usually seen.

5 well written paragraphs does not make for a long read.

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