It’s a second-grade trick: call someone a name so all the other kids won’t like that kid. From Caitlin Johnstone at caitlinjohnstone.com:
Both Tulsi Gabbard and the Green Party of the United States have issued scorching rebukes of Hillary Clinton for baseless accusations the former Secretary of State made during a recent interview claiming that both Gabbard and former Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein are aligned with the Russian government.
“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 a transparent reference to Gabbard. “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.”