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Buttigieg says he wasn't comfortable with Clinton attack on Gabbard

Democratic presidential candidate Pete ButtigiegPete ButtigiegLGBTQ voters must show up at the polls, or risk losing progress Buttigieg says it's time to 'turn the page' on Trump administration Sunday shows preview: Coronavirus cases surge in the Midwest; Trump hits campaign trail after COVID-19 MORE in a Sunday interview expressed discomfort with Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonTrump jokingly blames 'Crooked Hillary' after his rally mic stops working The Hill's Campaign Report: Two weeks to the election l Biden leads in new polls as debate looms l Trump pressures DOJ on Hunter Biden Trump remarks put pressure on Barr MORE's characterization of Rep. Tulsi GabbardTulsi GabbardHarris faces biggest moment in spotlight yet Ocasio-Cortez slams Tulsi Gabbard for amplifying ballot harvesting video Republicans call on DOJ to investigate Netflix over 'Cuties' film MORE (D-Hawaii) as a Russian asset.

Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend, Ind., told Chuck ToddCharles (Chuck) David ToddHHS secretary: Avoiding large gatherings 'a difficult message for all Western democracies' Trump bashes NBC ahead of town hall, adds it's 'a free hour on television' Chuck Todd indirectly refers to former colleague Olbermann as 'somebody from the very far left' of the media world MORE on "Meet the Press" that he did not want to "get in the middle of" the battle over Clinton's comments. 

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But when Todd asked if he was comfortable with Clinton's critique of Gabbard, Buttigieg said, "No, I'm not."

"I'm also not going to get in the middle of it because we, as a party and as a country, have to focus on the future," he said.

Buttigieg said the Democratic Party needs to focus "on the task at hand right now," which includes defeating President TrumpDonald John TrumpBiden holds massive cash advantage over Trump ahead of Election Day Tax records show Trump maintains a Chinese bank account: NYT Trump plays video of Biden, Harris talking about fracking at Pennsylvania rally MORE.

"That is my focus," he said. "That and what happens after this presidency comes to an end."

Clinton, asked Friday about Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election and future elections, said she believed Russians have their “eye on somebody who’s currently in the Democratic primary and are grooming her to be the third-party candidate.”

Clinton didn't mention Gabbard specifically, but it was clear from her remarks who she was referencing.

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

The former secretary of State's comments sparked backlash and prompted Gabbard to accuse Clinton of backing "a campaign to destroy my reputation."

The Hawaii representative denied that she would run as a third-party candidate. Clinton has also accused 2016 Green Party candidate Jill Stein of being used by the Russians to get President Trump elected. 

Buttigieg on the topic of electoral interference said that Russia is "exploiting divisions" in the U.S.

"But the bigger issue here is Russia is working to interfere with our elections right now," he said. "And we know a big part of how they're going to do it is exploiting divisions among the American people with their information operations."