Tulsi Gabbard, fresh off her nasty tussle with former first lady, secretary of state, and 2016 Democratic nominee, Hillary Clinton, was given a hero's welcome at a meeting with Wall Street executives and potential donors on Wednesday evening in New York City that took place at Anthony Scaramucci’s Hunt and Fish Club restaurant, FOX Business has learned.
Scaramucci, known as the "Mooch," is a hedge fund salesman and short-lived communications director for the Trump administration before flaming out and transforming himself into a fierce Trump critic. While he wasn't in attendance, according to people with direct knowledge of the event, about two dozen Wall Street executives sat for the off-the-record meeting with Gabbard that was hosted by Robert Wolf, himself a prominent Wall Street Democrat (golfing buddy of former President Barack Obama) and past chief of Swiss bank UBS' U.S. operations.
Wolf now runs investment advisory firm 32 Advisors and does political consulting, the latter with Scaramucci. He is also a FOX Business contributor.
"Tulsi is a rock star," said one Wall Street heavy hitter who attended. "She's warm and smart, people in the room loved her."
Gabbard's cozying up to the Wall Street fat cat set comes as she recently made headlines for a spat with Clinton, who referred to the potential Democratic presidential nominee, Hawaii congresswoman and Iraq War vet as a "favorite of the Russians."
Clinton didn't directly name Gabbard, but there was no doubting who she was referring to, given the congresswoman's opposition to Clinton's 2016 presidential campaign and her criticism of the former secretary of state's support of U.S. interventions overseas. Gabbard raised eyebrows in 2017 by confirming she met with Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad, who is considered a pawn of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Indeed Gabbard and Clinton have long butted heads; Gabbard resigned in 2016 as vice chairwoman of the DNC to support Bernie Sanders' upstart campaign. And now, as her campaign for the 2020 Democratic nomination, until possibly the recent Clinton dust-up, has gotten little traction, party insiders believe she is poised to shake-up the race even further by running as a third-party candidate that would weaken any eventual candidate to oppose President Trump. In the same comments, Clinton also suggested that the GOP is "grooming her to be a third-party candidate." Clinton’s comments were made on David Plouffe's podcast. Plouffe is a former Obama campaign adviser.
In response, Gabbard lashed out, calling Clinton the "the queen of warmongers, embodiment of corruption, and personification of the rot that has sickened the Democratic Party for so long, have finally come out from behind the curtain..."
During the off-the-record dinner, Gabbard didn't take any direct shots at Clinton, one person told FOX Business. She merely laid out some of her policies, which don't easily fit in any ideological framework. The 38-year-old congresswoman is a supporter of the Second Amendment and against what she described in an interview with the New York Times as "regime change wars," though she is considered progressive on other issues such as health care.
And in between bites of their expensive steak dinners, the crowd ate it up.
"People thought she was great," the attendee said. "Her problem is name recognition but when you meet her she is great."
Some Democratic Party insiders contacted by FOX Business found it odd that Wolf, who was long viewed as part of the Democratic establishment, would give Gabbard a forum for her views and fundraising, given what they say is her possible desire to run as a third-party candidate.
"The person who benefited from this meeting is Donald Trump," said David Brand, a Democratic strategist. "She's going nowhere in the Democratic Primary; now these guys are positioning her to hurt our nominee."
Wolf didn't return a request for comment. A press official for Gabbard didn't return a call for comment.