KEY POINTS

  • Gabbard is suing Clinton for $50 million in damages for damaging her character
  • Last October, Clinton implied that Gabbard was a "Russian asset"
  • Clinton and Gabbard's feud began in 2016 when Gabbard endorsed Sanders

On Wednesday, Rep. Tusli Gabbard, D-Hawaii, announced that she had filed a defamation lawsuit against former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton over remarks she made last year implying that the Democratic presidential hopeful was a “Russian asset.”

Last October, Clinton made an appearance on the Campaign HQ podcast where she seemingly referred to Gabbard as “the favorite of the Russians.” Clinton also asserted that Jill Stein, the Green Party’s 2016 presidential nominee, was “also a Russian asset.”

Clinton also suggested that the Republican Party has “their eye on somebody... and are grooming her to be the third-party candidate.”

Although Clinton did not refer to Gabbard by name, when asked if that was Clinton’s intent, a spokesman later said, “if the nesting doll fits.”

According to her lawsuit against Clinton, Gabbard is seeking $50 million in financial damages after her reputation was “carelessly and recklessly impugned” through “distorting the truth in the middle of a critical presidential election.” The lawsuit has been filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.

A member of Gabbard’s legal team, Brian Dunne, said that Clinton harbored a “personal hostility” toward the representative from Hawaii and demonstrated it by making “malicious and demonstrably false remarks.” He said that “when presented with the opportunity to retract her damaging remarks, [Clinton] refused.”

The feud between Gabbard and Clinton stretches back to 2016. At the time, Gabbard had been serving as vice chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee but chose to resign her position in February in order to endorse Sanders for the presidential nominee. At the time, Sanders was Clinton’s main competition for the Democratic nomination – and it would seem Clinton has not forgotten about Gabbard’s betrayal.

This week, Gabbard also rebuked Clinton for comments she made in a recent interview in which she claimed that “nobody likes” Sanders. “It’s time to grow up, you know? This isn’t high school,” Gabbard said.

Gabbard is currently trailing among the large Democratic nominee field, with polls placing her in the number 10 spot, close behind New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker.

tulsi gabbard Tulsi Gabbard speaks at a press conference on House Resolution 922 outside the Capitol in Washington, D.C., July 18, 2018. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images