It seems former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was doing now what she did in the final months of the 2016 presidential campaign: hiding.
An attorney for Democratic presidential longshot Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-H.I., says they’re trying to sue Clinton for $50 million in a defamation case.
But she spent the week hiding behind Secret Service and lawyers to avoid being served.
“I find it rather unbelievable that Hillary Clinton is so intimidated by Tulsi Gabbard that she won’t accept service of process,” Gabbard’s attorney Brian Dunne told The New York Post. “But I guess here we are.”
He said Clinton’s Secret Service detail told a process server he would have to visit an attorney in Washington… but the attorney in Washington said he couldn’t accept the paperwork either.
Only after the media picked up the story of Clinton ducking the suit did an attorney accept the service.
The dispute stems from comments Clinton made last year on a podcast, when she turned to what’s become a favorite line of attack — Russia.
Clinton claimed an unnamed female candidate was essentially serving Moscow.
“She’s the favorite of the Russians,” Clinton said. “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 never confirmed that she was talking about Gabbard.
But when spokesman Nick Merrill was asked by NBC if she meant Gabbard, he replied: “If the nesting doll fits … ”
Gabbard fired back by calling Clinton “queen of warmongers” on Twitter:
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
Merrill replied to NBC: “Divisive language filled with vitriol and conspiracy theories? Can’t imagine a better proof point than this.”
But Gabbard’s campaign rivals defended her from Clinton, no question about it.
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“It is outrageous for anyone to suggest that Tulsi is a foreign asset,” said Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-V.T., on Twitter:
Tulsi Gabbard has put her life on the line to defend this country. People can disagree on issues, but it is outrageous for anyone to suggest that Tulsi is a foreign asset.
— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) October 21, 2019
South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg said he disagreed with Gabbard on policy, but defended her as a fellow veteran.
“I consider her to be a competitor,” he said on CNN. “I respect her service.
Gabbard is in the Army National Guard, and served in a medical unit in a combat zone in Iraq 2004-2005 and in Kuwait a few years later.
Gabbard’s campaign is flagging. She barely registers in any polls, and failed to qualify for the most recent debate.
The lawsuit has been dismissed by the Clintons as a publicity stunt and a way to keep her name in the news.
But Gabbard insists it’s about a larger principle.
“No one is above the law,” Gabbard told reporters this month. “This lawsuit is about accountability – not just for me but for all service members and for the American people.”
As for the $50 million amount she’s seeking, Gabbard seems to think she’s letting Clinton off the hook easy.
“It should have been for $50 billion,” she said last week, according to NBC. “What is your life worth to you? What is your honor and loyalty, your identity, worth to you?”
But it’s also possible Gabbard is playing a longer game – one that looks beyond the presidential campaign and even past her time in Congress.
She hasn’t shied away from appearing on conservative networks such as Fox News.
The network has returned the favor… a little… offering rare praise for a Democratic candidate at times, with “Fox & Friends” co-host Ainsley Earhardt last year saying Gabbard’s relentless attacks on Clinton “made her look so good.”
By attacking Clinton… and being friendly with the right… Gabbard may hope to become a media personality on either Fox or one of the fledgling conservative networks out there.
As they say in television, stay tuned.
— Walter W. Murray is a reporter for The Horn News. He is an outspoken conservative and a survival expert, and is the author of “America’s Final Warning.”