Washington: Coming out in support of his fellow Democratic presidential hopeful Tulsi Gabbard, Senator Bernie Sanders has lashed out at former secretary of state Hillary Clinton for suggesting that the Hindu lawmaker from Hawaii is a foreign asset for Russia.
In a tweet, the Vermont senator and runner-up for the 2016 Democratic nomination called such accusations "outrageous," pointing to Gabbard's background as a military veteran.
"Tulsi Gabbard has put her life on the line to defend this country. People can disagree on issues, but it is outrageous for anyone to suggest that Tulsi is a foreign asset, Sanders said in a tweet, without naming Clinton.
Sanders is the first Democratic presidential candidate to come out in support of Gabbard who over the past few days have been accused of being a Russian asset.
Clinton during an interview last Friday appeared to be floating a conspiracy theory that the Russians are "grooming" Gabbard to be the third-party candidate in the presidential elections.
"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 apparent reference to Gabbard.
Gabbard, 38, later responded with her own fiery tweets, accusing Clinton of being corrupt and attempting to exert control over the Democratic Party.
US President Donald Trump also slammed Clinton for such a remark against Gabbard.