Hillary Clinton is suggesting Russia has compromising material on President Donald Trump.
She also suggested Russia is grooming Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii, as a third-party candidate in 2020. And she maintained that 2016 Green Party nominee Jill Stein is a "Russian asset."
Clinton's comments came during an interview on the Campaign HQ podcast with Barack Obama's former campaign manager David Plouffe's and were detailed in a story by The Washington Post.
"I don't know what [Russian President Vladimir] Putin has on him, whether it's both personal and financial," Clinton said of Trump. "I assume it is."
The Post said the idea Russia had information on Trump was a key, unproven claim in the highly disputed Steele dossier. The newspaper noted former British spy Christopher Steele's research was funded by the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee.
During the interview, Clinton added: "But more than that, there is this bizarre adulation Trump has for dictators and authoritarians. He dreams of being able to order people to do things and make them do it. He has no democratic instincts, really."
She accused Stein of being a "Russian asset" and suggested Russia might support a third-party bid by Gabbard, a Democratic presidential hopeful.
"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. I don't know who it's going to be, but I will guarantee you they will have a vigorous third-party challenge in the key states that they most needed.
"I'm not making any predictions, but I think they've got their eye on someone who's currently in the Democratic primary and are grooming her to be the third-party candidate. She's the favorite of the Russians."
Gabbard, who has been accused of being a Russian apologist, hit back on Twitter and challenged Clinton to not "cowardly hide behind your proxies" and "join the race directly."
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