While Hillary Clinton has kept a very public profile in the time since she lost the 2016 presidential race to now-President Donald Trump, she doesn't often make comments directed towards her former political rival. When she does, though, their infrequency makes them all the more powerful. Hillary Clinton tweeted about Donald Trump's alleged Russian connections, and Twitter was here for it.
Over the last couple of days, several new reports about Trump and Russia have gone public, with Trump himself rejecting all the allegations. On Friday, the New York Times reported that the FBI had opened a counterintelligence operation into whether Trump was working on behalf of Russia shortly after Trump fired former FBI director James Comey. Trump responded by smearing the FBI in a series of tweets. On Sunday, The Washington Post reported that Trump had gone to extreme lengths to keep his conversations with Russian president Vladimir Putin private. Trump hasn't directly responded to that article, but he did field a question from Fox News' Jeanine Pirro about whether he had worked for Russia at any time.
"I think it's the most insulting thing I've ever been asked," Trump told Pirro. His response to Pirro went viral, however, because he didn't answer the question directly. Bustle has reached out to the White House for additional comment.
Trump press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders did issue a statement denying the New York Times report.
“This is absurd. James Comey was fired because he’s a disgraced partisan hack, and his deputy, Andrew McCabe, who was in charge at the time, is a known liar fired by the F.B.I.,” Sanders said, according to the Times. “Unlike President Obama, who let Russia and other foreign adversaries push America around, President Trump has actually been tough on Russia.”
Despite the responses from the White House, though, the pair of reports released a flurry of speculation about Trump's possible connections with Russia. In a tweet posted on Monday morning, Clinton jumped into the fray as well.
"Like I said: A puppet," Clinton posted, retweeting a video clip of the now-infamous moment from final 2016 presidential debate. In that debate, Clinton said that Putin would "rather have a puppet as president of the United States," and Trump responded by saying "No puppet. No puppet. You're the puppet. No, you're the puppet" while talking over Clinton.
At the time, Twitter immediately embraced the inherent hilarity of an exchange like that happening at a presidential debate, but the situation has gotten quite a bit more serious now. In addition to the aforementioned recent reports, numerous moments in Trump's presidency have already raised major questions about the nature of his relationship with Russia.
In the spring of 2017, for example, The New York Times reported that Trump met privately with Russian officials in the Oval Office, where he talked to them about his decision to fire Comey. At his summer 2018 meeting with Putin in Helsinki, Trump said that he trusted Putin over his own intelligence agencies, before later saying that he had misspoken, after much criticism. Clinton sharply commented on the Helsinki meeting in another popular tweet, saying that Trump had made it clear which "team" he played for. Trump's alleged connections with Russia, it seems, brings out a side of the former Secretary of State that Twitter seems to really like.