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Tulsi Gabbard sues Hillary Clinton for defamation over 'Russian asset' comments

Clinton made the comments during an October recording of the podcast 'Campaign HQ' with David Plouffe.

2020 Democratic presidential candidate Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii) has filed a defamation lawsuit against Hillary Clinton for her remarks implying Gabbard was a "favorite of the Russians." The lawsuit seeks $50 million in damages. 

Clinton made the comments during an October recording of the podcast "Campaign HQ" with David Plouffe. She did not identify the candidate she was referring to, but said she thought Republicans were "grooming" a Democratic presidential bid and described the candidate as a "favorite of the Russians." 

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Clinton also described Jill Stein, a 2016 Green Party candidate, as 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," Clinton said. "Yeah, she's a Russian asset, I mean totally. They know they can't win without a third-party candidate."

The lawsuit, obtained by NBC News, seeks to hold Clinton and other "political elites" accountable for "distorting the truth in the middle of a critical Presidential election." It was also states that the lawsuit would prove that Gabbard suffered an economic loss due to the comments. 

“Tulsi Gabbard is a loyal American civil servant who has also dedicated her life to protecting the safety of all Americans,” Gabbard’s lawyer Brian Dunne said in a statement to The Hill. 

“Rep. Gabbard’s presidential campaign continues to gain momentum, but she has seen her political and personal reputation smeared and her candidacy intentionally damaged by Clinton’s malicious and demonstrably false remarks.” 

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