Democratic candidate Tulsi Gabbard responded to accusations made by fellow Democrat Hillary Clinton, who singled her out as “a Russian asset” who was “preparing” the Kremlin.

The Russians “have got their eye on somebody who’s currently in the Democratic primary, and they’re grooming her to be the third-party candidate,” Clinton said, suggesting that the Hawaii congresswoman “is one of the favorites of Russians” and that “they have a bunch of sites and bots and other ways of supporting her so far,” The Guardian reported.

Gabbard responded on social networks, accusing the former secretary of state of being behind a “coordinated campaign” that is trying to destroy her image, and challenged her to stop hiding “in a cowardly way.”

“Great! Thank you @HillaryClinton. 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,” Gabbard wrote on her Twitter account.

“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,” she continued.

“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.”

“It’s now clear that this primary is between you and me. Don’t cowardly hide behind your proxies. Join the race directly,” the ex-military defiantly emphasized.

 “Smear campaign”

She told NBC on Saturday that the “smear campaign” was not only the work of Hillary Clinton and her representatives, but also included  “the foreign policy establishment and the military industrial complex” because they feel threatened since they cannot control her, Fox News quoted.

“Foreign interference in our election is not a good thing. But what we’re seeing, this is not about Russia,” Gabbard added.

In that context, she accused Clinton of having “blood on her hands” because she “championed” the Iraq war. “Their blood is on her hands. That’s why she’s smearing my character and trying to undermine my campaign,” Gabbard said.

Gabbard has been the target of criticism from journalists who had prompted Clinton, and during the 2016 campaign, she resigned as vice chairman of the Democratic National Committee after offering her support for the party’s presidential nomination of Bernie Sanders, which Hillary Clinton would eventually win.

Hillary, despite winning the nomination, was defeated by current Republican President Donald J. Trump, for which she “blamed everyone, from the FBI to Russia,” reported RT.

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