Hillary Clinton just dropped a bombshell. The former 2016 Democratic presidential nominee who won the popular vote by close to 3 million more votes than the current president is accusing Russia of grooming a current 2020 Democrat, specifically a woman, to launch a third party run for the White House – to ensure Donald Trump wins re-election.
Russia knows they “they can’t win without a third-party candidate,” Clinton told David Plouffe on his podcast Campaign HQ, as Mediaite reports.
“I think they’ve got their eye somebody who’s currently in the Democratic primary and are grooming her to be the third-party candidate. She’s a favorite of the Russians,” Clinton said. “They have a bunch of sites and bots and other ways of supporting her so far.”
The former U.S. Secretary of State and former U.S. Senator said she’s “not making any predictions,” and added, “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 where they most need it.”
Third party candidates have a long history of taking votes away from mainstream candidates, and at the very least reducing their margin of victory. According to History.com, Ross Perot in 1992 took 19% of the vote, giving Bill Clinton a win but with just 43% of the popular vote. And in 2000, some say Ralph Nader’s third-party run stole the election from Al Gore and handed it – with the help of the Supreme Court – to George W. Bush.
In the three states that gave Trump the narrowest of victories, throwing the 2016 Electoral College win to him, third party candidate votes made all the difference – with just 77,000 votes across three states.
For example, in Wisconsin, Gary Johnson won 106,674 votes. Trump beat Clinton by just 22,748 votes. In Pennsylvania, Gary Johnson won 146,715 votes. Trump beat Clinton by just 44,292 votes. And in Michigan, Gary Johnson won 172,136 votes. Trump beat Clinton by just 10,704 votes. Those numbers don’t even include votes for Green Party nominee Jill Stein – who Hillary Clinton, while speaking with Plouffe, labeled a “Russian asset.”