When it comes to Hillary Clinton’s controversial suggestions about 2020 Democratic hopeful Tulsi Gabbard, it seems that maybe, John Brennan is with her.
Speaking at the "2020 Vision: Intelligence and the U.S. Presidential Election" event at the National Press Club, the former CIA director was asked about Clinton recently raising the suggestion that Gabbard, a Democratic candidate for president, is a Russian asset.
“Clinton got a lot of attention for saying that Tulsi was a Russian asset. Her staff doubled down. Do you see what she was talking about,” CBS News anchor Margaret Brennan asked the stage — which included Brennan, John McLaughlin, Michael Morell and Andrew McCabe.
“Something is a Russia asset even if it is not intentionally advancing their interest,” the ex-CIA boss said.
“The Russians are very sophisticated. They looked at a lot of different countries and how they can influence events. It can be a third-party candidate and pushing candidates they favor.
“They also push money into campaigns they oppose because they want tainted money and to expose it to undermine the electoral process. They will opt for a lot of different things.”
Brennan continued: “They look for opportunities to promote a certain theme and media. … They will befriend people who will go along with their encouragement.”
He wrapped the remark by saying the Kremlin seeks out “politicians who will be malleable,” adding that there is “no easy solution”.
The comments came after Clinton’s comments set off a firestorm in her own party, with Gabbard, a representative from Hawaii, hitting back at the former secretary of state's intimation.
"Hillary, your foreign policy was a disaster for our country and the world — resulting in the deaths and injuries of so many of my brothers and sisters in uniform, devastating entire countries, millions of lives lost, refugee crises," and more, Gabbard said in a recent video.
"Yet despite the damage you have done to our country and the world, you want to continue your failed policies directly or indirectly through the Democratic nominee."
She added: "It's time for you to acknowledge the damage you have caused and apologize for it. It is long past time for you to step down from your throne so the Democratic Party can lead with a new foreign policy which will actually be in the interests of and benefit the American people and the world."
Entrepreneur Andrew Yang, who is also seeking the Democratic nomination for president, has defended Gabbard, saying she “deserves much more respect and thanks than this.”
“She literally just got back from serving our country abroad,” Yang tweeted. Gabbard, apart from being a politician, is a Hawaii Army National Guard major who served in Iraq.
"Tulsi is not being groomed by anyone. She is her own person," said yet another party contender for the White House, onetime Texas Rep. Beto O'Rourke.
Marianne Williamson, the self-help author who's also in the primary race against Gabbard, among others, told the Hawaii lawmaker to "stay strong" and said she's the victim of attempted "character assassination."
“The Democratic establishment has got to stop smearing women it finds inconvenient!” she tweeted. “The character assassination of women who don’t toe the party line will backfire. Stay strong @TulsiGabbard. You deserve respect and you have mine.”
Fox News' Andres del Aguila and Brooke Singman contributed to this report.