Democratic presidential candidate Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii, fired back at Hillary Clinton's comments on a podcast in which she claimed there is a current primary contender who is an "asset of the Russians."
Carlson said Merrill responded with the comment, "If the nesting doll fits, this is not some outlandish claim, this is reality."
The former secretary of state is targeting her because she opposes Clinton's foreign policy platform, the Hawaii lawmaker said.
Gabbard told Carlson that Clinton and her "proxies" are sending a message not only to her but to veterans, active service members and Americans who are against foreign interventionism.
"They are saying that you are also a Russian asset -- that you are also a traitor to this country," Gabbard said. "The reason why she is doing this is because, ultimately she knows that she can't control me -- that I stand against everything that she represents, and that if I'm elected president, that she won't be able to control me."
Gabbard dared Clinton to run for president in 2020, fighting back against assertions that she is a Russian asset
"This is about Hillary Clinton sending a very strong message saying that because I am -- and have long been -- calling for an end to our country's foreign policy of waging one regime change war after the next," she said, listing military conflicts in Iraq, Libya and Syria.
She claimed Clinton was essentially accusing her of being "a Russian asset and a traitor to the nation that I love."
Clinton did not mention Gabbard specifically by name when she was on former President Obama aide David Plouffe’s “Campaign HQ” podcast, though Plouffe ended the podcast by noting Clinton’s “belief that Tulsi Gabbard is going to be a third-party candidate propped up by Trump and the Russians.”
"She is the favorite of the Russians. They have a bunch of sites and bots and other ways of supporting her so far," Clinton said to Plouffe during the interview. She also claimed 2016 Green Party presidential nominee Jill Stein is "also a Russian asset."
Gabbard responded to Clinton via Twitter.
"Thank you, Hillary Clinton. 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. ... It’s now clear that this primary is between you and me. Don’t cowardly hide behind your proxies. Join the race directly," she said.
The Hawaii lawmaker also claimed Clinton has been targeting her since the moment she launched her 2020 candidacy.
She said Clinton is responsible for military casualties in the Iraq War, which she supported as a U.S. Senator from New York.
"Their blood is on her hands," Gabbard said.
Fox News' Alex Pappas contributed to this report.