Last week, I published an article criticizing Hillary Clinton’s recent comments about Tulsi Gabbard and Russia. The crux on my piece hinged on the following statement by Clinton on the Campaign HQ podcast:
They are also going to do third-party again, and I’m not making any predictions but I think they got their eye on somebody who is currently in the Democratic primary and are grooming her to be the third-party candidate. She is a favorite of the Russians. They have a bunch of sites and bots and other ways of supporting her so far.
Because Clinton was previously talking about Russian interference in the 2016 election—and because she then spoke again about the Russians in the next sentence—I assumed that the initial “they” in this statement was Russia. This assumption was also shared by the New York Times, Politico, and the majority of mainstream news websites that covered the comments. (The host of the podcast, David Plouffe, also portrays her statement this way at the end of the show.)
However, according to Clinton spokesman Nick Merrill, the former Secretary of State was referring to the Republicans. As in:
The Republicans are also going to do third-party again, and I’m not making any predictions but I think they got their eye on somebody who is currently in the Democratic primary and are grooming her to be the third-party candidate.
It’s linguistically sloppy on Clinton’s part, and I’d argue that she should be more specific when talking about allegations of this magnitude. However, I have no reason to believe Merrill is lying, and as such I’ve taken the article down.
I apologize to my readers for contributing to a news cycle that was based partially on a misinterpreted statement. I will try to make sure an error like this doesn’t happen again. Misinformation can certainly fester anywhere.