tulsi and hillary
Rep. Tulsi Gabbard has received support from two of her opponents in the Democratic presidential primary after Hillary Clinton accused her of being a 'Russian asset.'

Marianne Williamson and Andrew Yang were the only two out of the Democratic field to take Gabbard's side in the growing feud, as the rest of the candidates remained silent on Clinton's accusations.

'Tulsi Gabbard deserves much more respect and thanks than this. She literally just got back from serving our country abroad,' Yang wrote in a tweet, referring to combat veteran Gabbard's continued service as a Major in the Army reserve.

Williamson, an author who did not make the party's cut for the most recent debate, chimed in: 'The Democratic establishment has got to stop smearing women it finds inconvenient!'

'The character assassination of women who don't toe the party line will backfire,' she continued, telling Gabbard, 'You deserve respect and you have mine.'

The rest of the Democratic field, including front-runner Senator Elizabeth Warren, remained silent on the controversy — except for Senator Cory Booker, who posted a sarcastic gif giving side-eye in response to Gabbard's clap back calling Clinton a 'warmonger'.
Meanwhile, Clinton has backed out of a speaking appearance at an event where Gabbard is scheduled to speak.

Clinton canceled her upcoming appearance at Fortune's Most Powerful Women Summit next week in Washington DC, just as her war of words with the Hawaii Congresswoman is escalating, according to Slate.

Gabbard, 38, blasted Clinton as 'queen of the warmongers' in response to the 2016 loser's allegation, and remains scheduled to headline the event's program on Tuesday.

A Clinton confidante tried to tamp down speculation that Gabbard was the reason Clinton cancelled, insisting that she actually backed out of the event because former Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen is on the schedule.

'While there's an argument to be made to hear all voices, there are those who fall outside of what should be the band of acceptable behavior and public policymaking,' the person told Slate, citing Nielsen's oversight of migrant detentions on the border.

On Friday night, Gabbard refused to back down from Clinton's attacks, saying that the former Secretary of State is waging a smear campaign against her because 'she knows she can't control me'.

The Democratic presidential candidate and Congresswoman from Hawaii made the claims during an interview with Fox News.

It comes just hours after Gabbard, 38, called Clinton 'the queen of warmongers [and the] embodiment of corruption' after Clinton suggested Gabbard was being groomed by Russians to be a third-party spoiler in the 2020 election.

'The reason why she's doing this is because ultimately she knows she can't control me,' Gabbard, who was on the campaign trail in Iowa, told Tucker Carlson.

'I stand against everything that she represents and she know that...if I'm the Democratic nominee and elected president, she won't be able to control me, she won't be able to manipulate me.'

Gabbard also accused Clinton of having 'blood on her hands' because she 'championed' several wars overseas.

'Thousands of my brothers and sisters in uniform were killed in Iraq, a war that she championed,' Gabbard said. 'Their blood is on her hands. That's why she's smearing my character and trying to undermine my campaign.'

Gabbard said that Clinton's remarks weren't insulting to just her, but to everyday Americans as well.

'She's sending a message out there to every veteran...everyone fighting at home fighting for peace and calling for an end to these regime change wars that you are also a Russian asset and a traitor to this country,' she said.

The congresswoman also suggested that if Clinton 'comes out from behind the curtain and speaks for herself and [stops] using proxies, it's clear its a race between Hillary Clinton and myself.'

Clinton, who lost the 2016 election in part because of Russian interference to help Donald Trump, claimed Moscow was at it again.
'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 said in an interview. 'She's the favorite of the Russians.'

Clinton did not mention Gabbard by name in the interview with former Obama adviser David Plouffe for his podcast but her accusation appeared directed at the congresswoman from Hawaii, who's been accused in the past of being cozy with Moscow.

'They have a bunch of sites and bots and other ways of supporting her so far,' Clinton added.

Gabbard raged against Clinton in her response and dared the former secretary of state to enter the 2020 Democratic presidential primary to engage her directly.

'It's now clear that this primary is between you and me. Don't cowardly hide behind your proxies. Join the race directly,' Gabbard wrote on Twitter.

Gabbard fired off three tweets in a row where she accused Clinton of being behind a secret effort to destroy her reputation.
'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.

'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. It's now clear that this primary is between you and me. Don't cowardly hide behind your proxies. Join the race directly,' she added.

Cory Booker, a candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination weighed in on the battle, retweeting Gabbard's first tweet with a gif of him making wide-eyes.

There are only five women running for President - Gabbard, Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren, Amy Klobuchar and Marianne Williamson.

None of the other women have been accused of Russia ties.

'If the nesting doll fits,' Clinton spokesman Nick Merrill told reporters when asked if the former secretary of state meant Gabbard in her interview.

And he responded to Gabbard's tweet storm with a slam at her relationship with Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad. 'Assad day for your candidacy,' he wrote.

In Tuesday's fourth Democratic debate in Ohio, the Democrat from Hawaii said that claims she is a 'Russian asset' are 'completely despicable.'

Gabbard also defended her January 2017 trip to Syria where she met with its dictator Bashar al-Assad, who is an ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin. No photographs of their meeting have been made public.

'Just two days ago the New York Times put out an article saying that I'm a Russian asset and an Assad apologist and all these different smears,' she said during the debate.

'This morning a CNN commentator said on national television that I'm an asset of Russia.'

'Completely despicable,' she said of the comments and then promised: 'As president I will end these regime change wars.'

Earlier this month The New York Times' published an article entitled 'What, Exactly, Is Tulsi Gabbard Up To?' and noted her candidacy is supported by alt-right internet stars, white nationalists and Russians.

On Tuesday morning, the morning of the debate, CNN political commentator Bakari Sellers had said: 'There is no question, there is no question that Tulsi Gabbard, of all the 12, is a puppet for the Russian government.'

Gabbard earns frequently mentions in Russian propaganda and media. She is a regular subject on RT, the news agency backed by the Kremlin.

A third-party bid by Gabbard in 2020 could draw votes away from the Democratic nominee and result in Donald Trump's re-election. Former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg rejected making an independent bid in next year's contest to avoid playing a spoiler role for Democrats.

But Gabbard has claimed she has no interest in a third-party candidacy. She told CNN in August she would not make a third-party bid. 'I will not,' she said. 'No, I have ruled that out.'

Clinton and Gabbard feuded during the 2016 election when Gabbard quit her position as Vice Chair of the Democratic National Committee to endorse Bernie Sanders, who, at the time, was challenging Clinton for the Democratic presidential nomination.

Before she resigned her DNC position, Gabbard criticized the party and then-DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz for not scheduling enough primary debates between Clinton and her challengers for the nomination.

It was later revealed, in DNC emails hacked by Russians and released on Wikipedia, that the party leadership was supporting Clinton for the nomination at the expense of Sanders.

Party committees are expected to be neutral in the primary process - except in cases when the incumbent president is of their party - until the voters chose their nominee.

In her interview with Plouffe, Clinton also accused Jill Stein, the Green Party candidate in both the 2012 and 2016 elections, of being a 'Russian asset.'

'That's assuming Jill Stein will give it up, which she might not, because she's also a Russian asset,' Clinton said. 'Yes, she's a Russian asset, I mean, totally. They know they can't win without a third-party candidate.'

Congressional reports on the 2016 election found that Stein was part of Russia's meddling effort into that year's presidential contest.
NBC News reported Russian operatives boosted Stein's candidacy by targeting voters from key Democratic demographics - a move that would have hurt Clinton in the election.

Stein earned nearly 1.5 million votes in the 2016 election and came in fourth.

Meanwhile, Gabbard has made no secret of her opposition to any foreign engagement of U.S. forces.

She was deployed to Iraq in 2014 for a 12-month tour there, and as part of her ongoing duties as an Army National Guardswoman took a few weeks off from the campaign trail when she reported for active duty in a two-week joint training exercise in Indonesia.

South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg, a fellow veteran, took on Gabbard during Tuesday's debate for her military stance.

'Well, respectfully, congresswoman, I think that is dead wrong. The slaughter going on in Syria is not a consequence of American presence, it a consequence of a withdrawal and a betrayal by this president of American allies and American values,' he said.

Buttigieg, who like Gabbard has been deployed overseas as part of the military, said it was wrong to 'abandon the international stage' or 'think our only choices are between endless war and total isolation.'

He said many U.S. troops are 'ashamed of what their country has done' by abandoning Kurdish allies who served as a ground force to take on ISIS in Syria and Iraq.

'I don't think we should have troops in the Middle East,' said Warren. But she said the U.S. should extract its troops 'the right way,' then teed off on Trump, saying he has 'sucked up to dictator,' has 'cut and run on our allies,' and 'has enriched himself at the expense of the United States of America.'

Gabbard later appeared to try to walk back some of what she had said about the U.S. fighting 'a regime change war' in Syria or at least change the emphasis away from it and on to Trump's most recent actions.

Asked about the possibility of being the youngest president ever, she accused Trump of opening the way for Kurdish genocide, rather than highlighting her accusation that the U.S. was in favor of 'regime change.'

'What Donald Trump has been doing in Syria and what we have just seen with him, inviting Turkey to come in and slaughter the Kurds, show what an unfit president looks like,' she said.

Viewers seemed to like Gabbard's debate performance. She won 29,242 votes (39.44%), according to a Drudge poll on the event, coming out on top against the 11 Democrats on stage with her.