Tulsi Gabbard sues Hillary Clinton for $50m over claims she is 'Russian asset'
'Clinton's false assertions were made in a deliberate attempt to derail Tulsi's campaign', lawsuit claims
Tulsi Gabbard is suing Hillary Clinton for defamation, seeking $50 million over the suggestion the Hawaiian presidential candidate is a "Russian asset".
The lawsuit comes months after Ms Clinton, the 2016 Democratic presidential nominee, said in an interview that Ms Gabbard was "the favourite of Russians."
"Clinton's false assertions were made in a deliberate attempt to derail Tulsi's campaign," the lawsuit, which was filed on Wednesday in the US District Court for the Southern District of New York, claims.
While the suit does not mention a specific amount of damages, it claims Ms Gabbard has suffered "actual damages" of "$50 million — and counting".
The former New York senator and secretary of State did not mention Ms Gabbard by name during her October interview, but her spokesman Nick Merrill later appeared to confirm that her claims were geared towards the four-term congresswoman from Hawaii.
"If the nesting doll fits," Mr Merrill said when asked if Ms Clinton was aiming her comments at Ms Gabbard. He later tweeted to clarify that Ms Clinton was referring to the Republican Party grooming the Hawaiian presidential candidate, and not Russians, even though that group is known for their iconic Matryoshka dolls.
Ms Clinton has since weighed in on the 2020 candidates this week, saying in an interview that "nobody likes" candidate Bernie Sanders, and that "nobody wants to work with him, he got nothing done."
Mr Sanders and Ms Clinton engaged in a lengthy battle for the 2016 democratic nomination, leaving both sides seemingly bitter with one another for the attacks.
While Mr Sanders brushed off the attacks — "On a good day, my wife likes me," he joked in response — others in the 2020 presidential field have slammed Ms Clinton for her remarks, including Ms Gabbard.
"It's time you grow up, you know? This isn't high school," Ms Gabbard said during an interview with WMUR-TV in Manchester, New Hampshire.
Businessman Andrew Yang has also pushed back on the attack, saying during an interview: "For her to come back and you know say that nobody likes Bernie does not seem like a very helpful message."