Trump says he respects Gabbard for voting 'present' on impeachment

President TrumpDonald John TrumpSchiff blasts Trump for making 'false claims' about Russia intel: 'You've betrayed America. Again.' Poll: Sanders leads 2020 Democratic field with 28 percent, followed by Warren and Biden More than 6 in 10 expect Trump to be reelected: poll MORE praised Rep. Tulsi GabbardTulsi GabbardFive takeaways from new fundraising reports for 2020 Democrats Overnight Defense: GOP lawmaker takes unannounced trip to Syria | Taliban leader pens New York Times op-ed on peace talks | Cheney blasts paper for publishing op-ed GOP lawmaker makes unannounced trip to northeastern Syria MORE (D-Hawaii) after the 2020 White House hopeful broke with House Democrats to vote “present” on both articles of impeachment brought against him.

While delivering remarks in Florida on Saturday, Trump took aim at former Secretary of State Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonSchiff blasts Trump for making 'false claims' about Russia intel: 'You've betrayed America. Again.' The problem with Trump's Middle East peace plan Trump's Intel moves spark Democratic fury MORE for comments she made about Gabbard.

ADVERTISEMENT

“Then she said Tulsi Gabbard is a weapon of Russia,” Trump said. “And they lost all credibility because you know that Tulsi Gabbard — and I give her respect. She didn’t vote the other day. I give her a lot of respect, because she knew it was wrong. But I don’t know, but I know one thing. She is not an agent of Russia.”

Trump appeared to be referring to an October interview in which Clinton appeared to suggest that Gabbard was a “favorite of the Russians” to win next year’s presidential election. 

In the interview, Clinton said that the GOP had their “eye on somebody who’s currently in the Democratic primary and are grooming her to be the third-party candidate,” appearing to refer 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,” Clinton also said in the interview.

Gabbard continues to face heat for breaking with House Democrats in votes on impeachment articles charging Trump with abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.

In a statement defending the unexpected move, Gabbard said she was "standing in the center" with her vote.

“I could not in good conscience vote against impeachment because I believe President Trump is guilty of wrongdoing,” Gabbard continued.

She has introduced a measure censuring Trump instead.