Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii, penned an op-ed on Wednesday expressly refuting claims by former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton that she is "favorite of the Russians" planning to run as a spoiler candidate to help reelect President Trump.
In the Wall Street Journal piece, Gabbard writes that she is running for president “to undo Mrs. Clinton’s failed legacy.” She adds that after she decided to endorse Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., over Clinton in 2016, Clinton never forgave the slight.
“The smears have been nonstop ever since,” Gabbard writes.
Earlier this month, Clinton said on David Plouffe’s podcast that a Democratic candidate was being groomed for a third-party run in 2020. Clinton's team later confirmed the former secretary of state was referring to Gabbard.
"I'm not making any predictions, but I think they've got their eye on somebody who is currently in the Democratic primary and are grooming her to be the third-party candidate," Clinton told Plouffe.
Market Watch reported, however, that Clinton was referring to Republicans, not the Russians, as “grooming” Gabbard for a third-party run, revising some initial media reports.
Gabbard hit back at Clinton on Twitter, calling her the “queen of warmongers, embodiment of corruption, and personification of the rot that has sickened the Democratic Party for so long.”
She also claimed that from the beginning of her candidacy there has been a concerted effort to destroy her reputation.
“Whether Mrs. Clinton’s name is on the ballot or not, her foreign policy will be,” Gabbard wrote in the op-ed, writing that many of the Democratic candidates “adhere to her doctrine of acting as the world’s police, using the tools of war to overthrow governments we don’t like, wasting taxpayer dollars, costing American lives, causing suffering and destruction abroad, and undermining America’s security.”
Meanwhile, Gabbard announced last week that she will not seek re-election to Congress so she can focus on her presidential bid.