Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, a long-shot 2020 White House candidate, ripped Hillary Clinton on Friday as the “embodiment of corruption” after the former secretary of state seemingly cast her as a would-be Russian asset.
Mrs. Clinton drew the Hawaii Democrat’s ire with her comments during an appearance Friday on “Campaign HQ” podcast with David Plouffe, in which she seemingly suggested Ms. Gabbard is being groomed by Russia as a third-party candidate.
“She’s the favorite of the Russians, they have a bunch of sites and bots and other ways of supporting her so far,” Mrs. Clinton said while not mentioning Ms. Gabbard by name. “That’s assuming Jill Stein will give it up, which she might not because she’s also a Russian asset. She’s a Russian asset! I mean, totally. They know they can’t win without a third-party candidate.”
Asked whether Mrs. Clinton was referring to Ms. Gabbard, Clinton spokesman Nick Merrill said, “if the nesting doll fits,” NBC News reported.
The 2020 presidential hopeful fired back via Twitter.
“Great! Thank you @HillaryClinton,” she tweeted. “You, 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. From the day I announced my candidacy, there has been a … concerted campaign to destroy my reputation. We wondered who was behind it and why. Now we know — it was always you, through your proxies and … … powerful allies in the corporate media and war machine, afraid of the threat I pose.”
SEE ALSO: Hillary Clinton suggests Tulsi Gabbard is being groomed to run as third-party candidate
“It’s now clear that this primary is between you and me. Don’t cowardly hide behind your proxies. Join the race directly,” Ms. Gabbard concluded.
Ms. Stein, who was the 2016 Green Party presidential candidate, also responded on Twitter.
“It’s a shame HRC is peddling conspiracy theories to justify her failure instead of reflecting on real reasons Dems lost in 2016,” Ms. Stein said.