KAILUA-KONA — Hawaii Congresswoman and Democratic presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard hit back against Hillary Clinton’s criticism on Saturday.
Clinton said recently that Gabbard was “groomed” to be an “Russian asset.”
Gabbard responded by calling for Clinton, who lost the 2016 general election to president Donald Trump, to challenger her in the primary race.
“The queen of warmongers, embodiment of corruption and personification of the rot that has sickened the Democratic Party for so long — finally came out from behind the curtain yesterday, accusing me of being a Russian asset, asserting I was being ‘groomed’ by Russian interests,” Gabbard said in a press release early Saturday.
“If this a fight she wants to have, one that has implications for all of us and the future of our democracy, then I challenge her to come out from behind her proxies and powerful allies in the corporate media, and face me directly.”
During a podcast appearance this week on Campaign HQ with David Plouffe, the former secretary of state and 2016 Democratic presidential nominee did not mention the Hawaii congresswoman by name, but said she believes the Russians have “got their eye on somebody who’s currently in the Democratic primary and are grooming her to be the third-party candidate.”
“She’s the favorite of the Russians,” Clinton said, adding that the Russians want a third party candidate as to take votes away from the leading Democratic challenger to Donald Trump. “They have a bunch of sites and bots and other ways of supporting her so far. And that’s assuming Jill Stein will give it up, which she might not because she’s also a Russian asset.”
Gabbard’s release said Clinton was behind a smear campaign from the beginning targeting the Hawaii rep.
“From the day I announced my candidacy, there has been a campaign to destroy my reputation. We wondered who was behind it, and now we know,” Gabbard said.
Gabbard also responded to similar criticism during the Democratic presidential debate in Ohio last Tuesday.
“This morning, a CNN commentator said on national television that I’m an asset of Russia,” Gabbard said onstage. “Completely despicable.”