Democratic presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders on Tuesday reiterated that he does not agree with political rival Hillary Clinton's assertion about passage of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).

The Supreme Court in 2013 struck down a key provision of DOMA, which prohibited federal agencies from recognizing the legal marriages of gay and lesbian couples.

Sanders on Sunday criticized Clinton for saying that former President Bill Clinton signed the law as a “defensive action” to prevent passage of an amendment to the U.S Constitution which would ban gay marriage.

During Tuesday's appearance on MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show, Sanders, who as a House member voted against DOMA, denied that he was attacking Clinton, saying that he viewed the comments as a contrast.

“You are drawing a sharp contrast here,” Maddow said.

“I am,” Sanders responded. “And the reason that I am is I think it's important for voters in the Democratic primary process to understand one very important fact. … Here is my point, it was a simple point. I have had in many years in politics had to make tough votes. … The times then were very, very different.”

“It bothered me hearing Secretary Clinton saying, 'Well, you know, DOMA really was about preventing something even worse.' That just wasn't true. It wasn't true,” he added.

Maddow followed up by asking the Vermont senator about his opposition in 2006 to Vermont moving from civil unions to full marriage equality.

Sanders said that Vermont was “torn in a way that I had never seen the state torn” after it became the first state in the nation to recognize gay couples with civil unions.

“My view was, give us a little bit of time,” he said.

(Related: Gay rights activists mostly side with Bernie Sanders on Hillary Clinton's DOMA explanation.)