“She’s playing a very dangerous game,” Jones said during a segment on “Erin Burnett Out Front” on Friday.
“Hillary Clinton, if you’re concerned about disinformation ― what the Russians do, is they spread disinformation and get us divided against each other ― that is what just happened. Just throw out some information ... disinformation, smear somebody,” he continued.
Jones’ remarks were in response to Clinton’s Thursday appearance on the podcast “Campaign HQ With David Plouffe.”
During a conversation about the 2020 election with Plouffe, former senior adviser to Barack Obama, Clinton appeared to single out Gabbard, before unleashing accusations about Jill Stein’s 2016 presidential campaign and Russia. (Stein slammed Clinton’s comments on Twitter.)
“I’m not making any predictions, but I think they’ve got their eye on somebody who’s currently in the Democratic primary ... and are grooming her to be the third-party candidate,” Clinton said during the interview.
She continued, “She’s a favorite of the Russians, they have a bunch of sites and bots and other ways of supporting her so far.”
Though many interpreted Clinton’s “grooming” comment as referring to the Russians, Clinton spokesperson Nick Merrill said on Twitter on Friday that the 2016 Democratic presidential nominee was referencing the Republican Party.
Before making her “grooming” remarks, Clinton and Plouffe were sharing their thoughts on President Donald Trump’s election strategy.
The former secretary of state did not reference Gabbard by name in that conversation, but when Merrill was asked by NBC News this week to confirm Gabbard was her target, he replied: “If the nesting doll fits.”
The presidential hopeful and Iraq War veteran similarly criticized The New York Times on Tuesday’s Ohio debate stage after it reported that Russian news media had frequently mentioned her.
Elsewhere in the CNN segment with Burnett, Jones, who referred to Clinton as a
”legend,” suggested there was a “backstory” to the Gabbard-Clinton-Russia debacle.
He pointed to Gabbard’s decision to resign as vice chair of the Democratic National Committee in 2016 to endorse Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) for president.
“It’s been payback hell ever since,” Jones charged.
He later added, “I do not want somebody of her [Clinton’s] stature to legitimate these kind of attacks against anybody ― if you’ve got real evidence, come forward with it, but if you’re just going to smear people casually on podcast, you’re playing right into the Russians’ hands.”
Watch the entire CNN segment here.