Gabbard blasts Hillary Clinton, Mitt Romney for ‘baseless smear’ accusing her of being ‘groomed’ by Russians

Former Rep. Tulsi Gabbard blasted Hillary Clinton and GOP Sen. Mitt Romney during the first House weaponization subcommittee hearing Thursday, for spreading a “baseless smear” accusing her of “treason” and of being “groomed” by the Russians during the 2020 Democratic primary elections. Gabbard, a veteran, former Democratic congresswoman from Hawaii, and former presidential candidate, testified on Big Tech censorship and the importance of protecting the First Amendment during the subcommittee’s first hearing. “The threat Big Tech monopolies pose to our democracy is real and serious,” Gabbard said, adding that she has “had personal experience with this.” FLASHBACK: HILLARY CLINTON FLOATS CONSPIRACY THAT TULSI GABBARD IS BEING ‘GROOMED’ BY RUSSIANS “After the first Democratic primary presidential debate in 2019, I was the most searched candidate of the night. Unfortunately and suddenly, my Google ads account was mysteriously suspended without any notice or explanation,” she said, adding that there were “no responses to our multiple attempts to resolve whatever problem could have caused this.” Gabbard said in time, “magically,” her account was reinstated “without explanation or apology.” This happened to other candidates running for Congress, Gabbard added. “This happens all the time with these Big Tech monopolies interfering in our democracy by manipulating search results based on whatever it is they want the American people to know about a particular candidate or issue,” she said. “That should be concerning to any one of us.”  Citing the “Twitter Files,” Gabbard said high-level former FBI, CIA and other government officials were behind the suspension of accounts due to “Russian influence activities online.” Gabbard was referring to “Hamilton 68,” a so-called “dashboard” that purportedly monitored Russian bot activity. “Hamilton 68 work was widely cited as fact by institutions like Harvard and Stanford, mainstream news organizations across the board, members of the House of Representatives and Senate from both political parties, including the head of the Intelligence Committee,” Gabbard said. “The problem is – it was false,” she said, noting that “Twitter determined that the vast majority of accounts Hamilton 68 targeted… were ‘neither strongly Russian nor strongly bots.’” “They were mostly anti-establishment American voices from across the political spectrum,” Gabbard continued. “I was one of them.” Gabbard went on to say that Clinton “accused me, a sitting member of Congress, a soldier and a candidate running for president of being, ‘groomed by the Russians,’” Gabbard recalled. “Her baseless smear worked as intended. It was something that was repeated over and over, headline after headline, article after article, pushed online in every way.” Clinton, in October 2019, floated the conspiracy theory that the Russians were “grooming” Gabbard to be a third-party candidate in 2020.  “She’s the favorite of the Russians. They have a bunch of sites and bots and other ways of supporting her so far,” Clinton said at the time on a podcast hosted by former Obama aide David Ploufe.  Gabbard said Clinton’s accusations “had the harmful impact that was intended,” detailing later instances of Americans approaching her and asking if she was “working for Putin.”  The combat veteran said she responded by expressing “how much I love this country.” “So much that I’m willing to die for it,” Gabbard said. Meanwhile, Gabbard also hit Romney, R-Utah, who she said accused her of “treason – a crime punishable by death under our laws.” TULSI GABBARD RESPONDS TO MITT ROMNEY’S ACCUSATION OF ‘TREASONOUS LIES’ Gabbard, in 2022, tweeted a video in which she expressed concern that biolabs could be “compromised” during the Russian assault of Ukraine.  At the time, Mitt Romney responded to Gabbard’s video, saying, “Tulsi Gabbard is parroting false Russian propaganda. Her treasonous lies may well cost lives.” “I challenged him to back this serious allegation with evidence. What was this based on?” Gabbard said Thursday. “There was no response, no explanation, no evidence, and no apology.” She said these accusations are “often shrugged off as, ‘Well, hey, it’s politics. People say things about each other all the time.’” “That may be easy for some… but for somebody who wears the uniform, this is serious, and it is serious not only to me, but to my fellow service members and veterans,” Gabbard said. “When those who dare to challenge the establishment targeted by this powerful conglomerate of government, corporate media and Big Tech weaponizing all that they have against the people for their own selfish gain, it has a dangerous, chilling effect on free speech, and it sends a very powerful message: if you dare to challenge us, we will come after you,” she explained. She added: “The more we allow this to happen, we start looking less and less like a democratic republic and more and more like a banana republic.” 
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