2020: Russia is already propping up a presidential candidate in the Democratic party
Russian President Vladimir Putin (Photo: Screen capture)

One potential 2020 presidential candidate has caught the attention and support of Russian state media, NBC News reported Saturday.

"An NBC News analysis of the main English-language news sites employed by Russia in its 2016 election meddling shows Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii, who is set to make her formal announcement Saturday, has become a favorite of the sites Moscow used when it interfered in 2016," NBC reported. "Several experts who track websites and social media linked to the Kremlin have also seen what they believe may be the first stirrings of an upcoming Russian campaign of support for Gabbard."

NBC tracked stories on RT, Sputnik News and Russia Insider.

"RT began defending Gabbard as soon as she announced," NBC noted.

"All three sites celebrated Gabbard's announcement, defended her positions on Russia and her 2017 meeting with Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad, and attacked those who have suggested she is a pawn for Moscow," NBC noted.

Former FBI agent Clint Watts, who wrote, Messing with the Enemy: Surviving in a Social Media World of Hackers, Terrorists, Russians, and Fake News analyzed the Kremlin's motivations.

"They're telegraphing what coming the next two years, which is playing in the left," Watts explained. "They want someone like Gabbard to voice a Russian position. They are not telling her what to say but they want her pro-Russian positions play into the debate."

Gabbard is expected to officially announce her campaign on Saturday in Hawaii.