During his Fox News primetime interview with close friend and confidant Sean Hannity on Monday night, President Trump took aim at his 2016 presidential election foe, calling Hillary Clinton “crazy” and “sick” for suggesting Russians were “grooming” Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) for a third-party presidential bid.
Clinton sparked a multi-day controversy last week when she said on a podcast that Gabbard is a “favorite of the Russians” and that former Green Party presidential nominee Jill Stein is a “Russian asset,” suggesting they could both be involved in helping Russia tilt the election for Trump. Clinton did not offer any proof at the time to back up her claims.
Gabbard quickly hit back on Twitter, labeling Clinton the “queen of warmongers” while asserting the former secretary of state’s attacks were part of a “concerted campaign” to sully Gabbard’s reputation.
Having defended both Stein and Gabbard earlier in the day while speaking to reporters at a Cabinet meeting, insisting “there’s something wrong” and “sick” with Clinton, Trump picked right up on that theme during his Hannity interview.
Complaining about former Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report on Russian election interference, the president quickly pivoted to complaints about Clinton’s attacks on Gabbard and Stein.
“Just like she did with Tulsi Gabbard,” Trump grumbled. “Just like she did with Jill Stein. She said, ‘Jill Stein is a Russian asset.’”
Claiming he didn’t know either Stein or Gabbard—even though Gabbard met with him shortly after his election to defend Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad—Trump went on to say that neither of them are Russian assets before revisiting his Cabinet remarks about Clinton and her defenders.
“These people are sick,” he declared. “There’s something wrong with them.”
Moments later, Trump circled back to the topic. Grousing once again that the Russia investigation was a “phony scam,” the president found a way to also make it about Clinton’s comments.
“And then you have Hillary Clinton saying, two days ago, Tulsi Gabbard is a Russian asset,” Trump exclaimed. “And that Jill Stein is a Russian agent.”
“And I said, ‘Wait a minute, it took me two and a half years,’” he added. “I wish you would have said that earlier because people would have realized she’s crazy, she’s crazy!”