Gabbard on Clinton attack: 'She knows that she can't control me'

Rep. Tulsi GabbardTulsi GabbardKrystal Ball praises former McConnell aide's historic win in Kentucky The Hill's Campaign Report: Bloomberg looks to upend Democratic race The Hill's Morning Report — Bloomberg news shakes up 2020 race MORE (D-Hawaii) responded to Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham Clinton3 ways government can help clean up Twitter Intelligence Democrat: Stop using 'quid pro quo' to describe Trump allegations The Memo: Bloomberg's 2020 moves draw ire from Democrats MORE's suggestion that she was being "groomed" by Russia for a third-party run by saying that Clinton was "smearing" her campaign because "she knows that she can’t control me."

"Hillary Clinton is labeling me as a foreign agent and a traitor, smearing and undermining my campaign, both directly herself and indirectly through her proxies," Gabbard said in a Friday night interview with CBS News.

"The reason why she’s doing this is because she knows that she can’t control me. She knows that she’s not going to be able to manipulate me if I’m elected president to be able to continue these warmongering policies that she has championed," Gabbard added.

She also called Clinton’s comment "despicable."

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"This is a message to every veteran in this country who has put their life on the line to serve our country, to every single American who believes strongly that we must end this long-standing foreign policy of being the world's police and waging these regime-change wars, which is really the legacy of Hillary Clinton, then we are traitors to the nation that we love," said Gabbard, who is a veteran. "This is despicable on so many levels."

The Democratic congresswoman reiterated in the interview that she would not run as a third-party candidate as Clinton had insinuated in a podcast interview earlier in the day.

"I've been very clear. I will not be leaving the Democratic Party. I will not be running as an independent or a third-party candidate," said Gabbard. "I am running as a Democrat to take our party back, away from the control of people like Hillary Clinton and the warmongering and corrupt, powerful establishment and return our party into the hands of the people."

She made similar comments on Fox News, saying Clinton is targeting her because "ultimately she knows that she can’t control me." 

Her comments came in response to Clinton’s assertion that she is "the favorite of the Russians." 

Clinton said in an interview with the podcast “Campaign HQ” that the Russians already have their "eye on somebody who’s currently in the Democratic primary and are grooming her to be the third-party candidate."

"She’s the favorite of the Russians. They have a bunch of sites and bots and other ways of supporting her so far," Clinton added.

Gabbard is among more than a dozen people vying for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination.