Leslie Marshall: Hillary Clinton-Tulsi Gabbard feud is a gift to Trump – It needs to end NOW

As President Trump’s misconduct grows more appalling and the case for his impeachment grows stronger every day, Democrats have given him one piece of good news: the escalating and harmful feud between presidential contender Rep. Tulsi Gabbard and Hillary Clinton.

The feud is also good news for Gabbard, D-Hawaii, whose presidential candidacy is on life-support. She is supported by only 1.3 percent of Democrats in the latest RealClear Politics average of presidential primary polls.

But thanks to her feud with Clinton, Gabbard is attracting heavy media coverage – something she desperately needs to give her dark horse presidential candidacy any chance of success.

TULSI GABBARD TO HILLARY CLINTON: 'STEP DOWN FROM YOUR THRONE'

Gabbard added fuel to the feud Tuesday when she released a new campaign video attacking Clinton, the 2016 Democratic presidential nominee. And Gabbard tweeted: “@HillaryClinton your foreign policy was a disaster for our country and the world. It’s time for you to acknowledge the damage you have caused and step down from your throne.”

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The Clinton-Gabbard battle burst into the headlines last week, when Clinton said in an interview that the Russians have “got their eye on somebody who is currently in the Democratic primary and are grooming her to be the third-party candidate.”

“She's the favorite of the Russians,” Clinton added. “They have a bunch of sites and bots and other ways of supporting her so far.”

While Clinton didn’t name Gabbard, it was clear that the former first lady, senator and secretary of state was referring to the Hawaii congresswoman.

Clinton also said that 2016 Green Party presidential nominee Jill Stein was a “Russian asset” – a charge Stein denied and called “a ludicrous, unhinged conspiracy theory with no basis in fact.”

Gabbard posted a video Sunday denouncing Clinton and saying she would not be silenced by Clinton and "her gang of rich, powerful elite."

Trump couldn’t resist getting into the middle of the feud Monday, telling reporters that Clinton is “accusing everyone of being a Russian agent.” The president added that Gabbard is “not a Russian agent.”

And other Democratic presidential candidates – including Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey, former Rep. Beto O’Rourke of Texas, entrepreneur Andrew Yang and author Marianne Williamson – said they don’t believe Gabbard is a Russian asset.

Enough with this Democrat-on-Democrat fighting!

The Democratic presidential candidates need to be clear that their opponent is Donald Trump – not each other.

This latest infighting is a distraction and is turning off voters. If Democrats spend a lot of time and energy attacking each other in a civil war, Trump will have a much better shot at reelection, enabling him to cause even greater harm to our nation than he has caused already.

In 2016, the bitter race for the Democratic presidential nomination – which ended with Clinton defeating Sanders – led some Democratic voters to stay home or vote for Trump. This may have given Trump the margin he needed to win the presidential race in the Electoral College, even though Clinton had about 3 million more popular votes.

My fellow Democrats have to ask themselves: Are we going to support each other despite our personal or political differences so that we can send Trump into political retirement? Or is the temptation to tear each other down and highlight our differences more important? If we choose the latter, we’ll most likely lose – just like we did in 2016.

Is there any merit to Hillary Clinton’s accusations against Gabbard and SteinIf Democrats spend a lot of time and energy attacking each other in a civil war, Trump will have a much better shot at reelection, enabling him to cause even greater harm to our nation than he has caused already.

If Democrats spend a lot of time and energy attacking each other in a civil war, Trump will have a much better shot at reelection, enabling him to cause even greater harm to our nation than he has caused already.

Stein received about 1.5 million votes in 2016, but reports have come out of Congress showing that Russian election meddling directly contributed to that total. And of course, many of us remember the famous photo of Stein sitting at the same table as Russian President Vladimir Putin back in 2015.

As for Gabbard, it’s no surprise that she’s not a huge Clinton fan nor vice versa. In 2016, the congresswoman resigned as the vice chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee in order to endorse Sanders in his nomination fight against Clinton.

There are plenty of reasons Gabbard is barely registering in the polls.

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For example, in 2016 Gabbard advocated that the U.S. work with Syria’s brutal dictator Bashar Assad, who has used chemical warfare against his own civilian population in the Syrian civil war. An estimated 400,000 people have been killed in the civil war, which began in 2011, and about 5.7 million Syrians have fled their country to escape the fighting, according to the U.N.

In 2017 Gabbard even traveled to Syria and met with Assad.

Additionally, according to news reports, Twitter bots that seem to originate in Russia have been quite active on Gabbard’s behalf. And Russian state media have been giving her a disproportionate amount of coverage, considering she is barely registering in the polls.

But all this aside, should the Democrats be talking about this? Should Hillary Clinton have said anything about Gabbard? And should Gabbard have responded?

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No, no and no.

For the sake of the American people – who need to replace Trump because his failed leadership, divisiveness and erratic behavior are causing more and more serious problems for our country and the world – I hope Clinton and Gabbard stop attacking each other. They need to use all their energy to concentrate on making the case for replacing Trump.

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