It's the presidential primary fight no one really expected: Hillary Clinton versus one of the lowest-polling Dems in the race. In a podcast appearance this week, the former secretary of state took a swing at who most people agree was Hawaii Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, saying that the Russians had someone on the Democratic side that they were "grooming ... to be the third-party candidate." Gabbard, who'd lashed out during Tuesday's Democratic debate against similar rumors that she was a Russian asset of sorts, wasn't happy to hear Clinton's insinuation and headed to Twitter to make her feelings known, per the Hill. "Great! Thank you @HillaryClinton," Gabbard posted in a series of tweets. "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 accused Clinton of being the one, along with her "proxies and powerful allies in the corporate media and war machine," behind efforts to slam Gabbard's reputation, "afraid of the threat I pose." Then, a challenge: "It's now clear that this primary is between you and me. Don't cowardly hide behind your proxies. Join the race directly." The tweets spurred instant reaction online, ranging from defense of Gabbard to mockery of her posts. Even a couple of her fellow Dems jumped into the fray, with Cory Booker posting a humorous reaction GIF and Andrew Yang going to bat for her. Clinton is taking heat over the flap, too: During a Fox News appearance Friday, ex-George W. Bush adviser Karl Rove said she should "put up or shut up" and offer evidence on her accusations on Gabbard. (Read more Tulsi Gabbard stories.)