Democrat Hillary Clinton, who lost the presidential election to Donald Trump in 2016, suggested that Democratic presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard is "the favorite of the Russians" and described 2016 Green Party candidate Jill Stein as "a Russian asset."
"I think they've got their eye on somebody who's currently in the Democratic primary, and they're grooming her to be the third-party candidate," Clinton told the Campaign HQ podcast broadcast on October 18.
"She's the favorite of the Russians. They have a bunch of sites and bots and other ways of supporting her so far."
"And that's assuming Jill Stein will give it up, which she might not because she's also a Russian asset," Clinton added.
Many observers have said a third-party candidate could help Trump win in 2020 by taking away votes from a Democratic candidate.
Clinton did not call out Gabbard by name, but the Hawaii congresswoman made clear she was the target by ripping the former first lady and U.S. senator on Twitter.
"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.
Gabbard has been criticized by some Democrats for being too conservative and for having defended Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad, an ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Stein ran as the Green Party candidate in 2016 and, while she did not win many votes, some observers said her candidacy helped Trump win given the closeness of the popular vote.
Stein accused Clinton of "peddling conspiracy theories to justify her failure instead of reflecting on real reasons Dems lost in 2016."
Clinton called Trump "Vladimir Putin's dream" and that Trump's inauguration speech was "like a declaration of war on half of America."