Former Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein fired back at Hillary Clinton for calling her and Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D., Hawaii) "Russian assets."
Stein, who ran against Clinton in 2016, appeared on CNN's Smerconish, where she was asked to respond to Clinton's baseless charges against Gabbard and herself.
"Are you a Russian spy?" host Michael Smerconish asked.
"No, I am not a Russian spy. I think this is a completely unhinged conspiracy theory for which there is absolutely no basis in fact, not for myself and not for Tulsi Gabbard," Stein replied. "It is really outrageous that Hillary Clinton is trying to promote this crazy idea. You can't just slander people. You have to present some basis in fact."
Stein also knocked Clinton for needing to use her political adversaries, such as Stein, to justify herself after her 2016 defeat.
"I am not running for office. Somehow Hillary Clinton didn't do her Google research or she would know that I am not running, so it's preposterous to say if I will ‘give it up,'" Stein said. "This is just a wild and insulting theory, and I think it speaks to Hillary's need to try to explain, perhaps to herself, why her campaign was not successful."
Stein also defended Gabbard, who is running for president as a Democrat, saying her loyalty to the Democratic Party is "pretty believable." Clinton had alleged Russia was "grooming" Gabbard for a third-party run after the primary.
Clinton sat down with "Campaign HQ" podcast host David Plouffe this week, where she took a thinly veiled shot at Gabbard without directly mentioning her name.
"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. "She's the favorite of the Russians. They have a bunch of sites and bots and other ways of supporting her so far."
She went on to argue the Trump campaign will turn to Gabbard if Stein, who was unsuccessful in 2016, does not run.
"That's assuming Jill Stein will give it up, which she might not, because she's also a Russian asset," Clinton said. "She's a Russian asset, I mean totally."
Gabbard unleashed on Clinton in a series of tweets, calling her the "queen of warmongers."
… 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 …
— Tulsi Gabbard 🌺 (@TulsiGabbard) October 18, 2019