By Justin Baragona* – The Daily Beast
“I’ve often said that Tulsi is sort of the Trojan horse in this. She’s polling at only 1.2 percent, yet she’s still in the race,” Sunny Hostin said at one point.
The View’s Joy Behar and Sunny Hostin on Monday applauded former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton for seemingly claiming last week that Russians will support a third-party presidential run by Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, calling the Hawaii Democrat a “useful idiot” and a “Trojan horse.”
During a podcast interview last week, Clinton said Gabbard was a “favorite of the Russians” and was being groomed “to be the third-party candidate,” offering no evidence to support her assertion. Gabbard, who is running a long-shot Democratic presidential campaign, quickly fired back, calling Clinton the “queen of warmongers” while claiming the “corporate media and war machine” were trying to destroy her reputation.
Hostin, meanwhile, sided entirely with the former first lady in this growing feud, stating Clinton has been “dead-on about so many things.”
“She told us about Russia, she told us about the probable interference,” Hostin continued. “She was secretary of state. She has deep world knowledge of world issues. I thought, where’s the lie? I’ve often said that Tulsi is sort of the Trojan horse in this. She’s polling at only 1.2 percent, yet she’s still in the race. You have her being touted by people like Fox News personalities like Tucker Carlson.”
Behar would then join Hostin in noting that Gabbard has received endorsements from Russian-friendly media and white supremacist David Duke, asserting that while she’s denounced Duke’s support she hasn’t distanced herself from Russia’s praise of her.
“She hasn’t denied it,” Behar said of Gabbard’s reaction to Clinton. “She hasn’t said anything in her tweets. ‘How dare you? It’s outrageous. Of course, I’m not.’ She didn’t say that. She’s just going after Hillary.”
Adding that she doesn’t believe Clinton wants to get back in the presidential race, Behar went on to say she also doesn’t feel that Gabbard is a Russian “agent.”
“I just think that she could be a useful idiot the way Trump is a useful idiot to the Russians,” the liberal co-host proclaimed. “That they see something. They say, ‘Oh look, a useful idiot. Let’s play this.’”
Behar, meanwhile, insisted that Republicans absolutely need outside interference from Russia and voter suppression to win the upcoming election, before informing the audience that they’ll be able to ask Gabbard about this soon as she’s scheduled to come on The View in a couple of weeks.
Conservative co-host Abby Huntsman, for her part, said she saw this more as Clinton having an “ax to grind” over 2016, while accusing Clinton of playing the Russians’ game and being “clueless.”
“They want the Democratic Party to be divided,” Huntsman continued. “They want more people to know Tulsi Gabbard and she was only promoted because of this. It surprised me Hillary Clinton was not smarter and more tactful in how she talked about it.”
Hostin, however, didn’t buy Huntsman’s argument that Gabbard’s isolationist foreign-policy views could resonate with many Democrats, pointing once more to the Hawaii lawmaker’s low poll numbers. This prompted Huntsman to accuse Clinton of hurting her own party by smearing Gabbard.
*Justin Baragona is the founder and publisher of Contemptor, a site focusing on the intersection of politics, culture and the media, and spends most of his waking hours consuming cable news. The St. Louis-based writer previously served as a cable-news correspondent and editor for Mediaite.