Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard blasted the “mainstream media” during Tuesday’s Democratic presidential debate for suggesting she’s an asset of the Russian government.
Gabbard’s comments came in answer to a question about President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw some U.S. troops from the region surrounding Syria’s northern border with Turkey.
That action was followed by Turkey’s launching a military offensive in the region. Some have accused Trump of abandoning America’s Kurdish allies in the area.
Gabbard criticized Trump’s decision.
But she also came down hard on those who have supported U.S. involvement in what she called a “regime change war.”
“We’ve got to understand the reality of the situation there, which is that the slaughter of the Kurds being done by Turkey is yet another negative consequence of the regime change war that we’ve been waging in Syria,” Gabbard said.
“Donald Trump has the blood of the Kurds on his hand, but so do many of the politicians in our country from both parties who have supported this ongoing regime change war in Syria that started in 2011, along with many in the mainstream media, who have been championing and cheerleading this regime change war.”
Gabbard, a combat veteran, then attacked The New York Times and CNN.
Tulsi Gabbard calls The New York Times and CNN — the hosts of the debate — “completely despicable” for alleging she is a Russian asset and Assad apologist. pic.twitter.com/0pzpA4nvRo
— Axios (@axios) October 16, 2019
“Not only that but, but The New York Times and CNN have also smeared veterans like myself for calling for an end to this regime change war,” Gabbard said.
“Just two days ago, The New York Times put out an article saying that I’m a Russian asset and an Assad apologist and all these different smears.”
Gabbard was referring to an article published Thursday by Times reporter Lisa Lerer.
“Among her fellow Democrats, Representative Tulsi Gabbard has struggled to make headway as a presidential candidate, barely cracking the 2 percent mark in the polls needed to qualify for Tuesday night’s debate,” Lerer wrote.
“She is now injecting a bit of chaos into her own party’s primary race, threatening to boycott that debate to protest what she sees as a ‘rigging’ of the 2020 election.”
“That’s left some Democrats wondering what, exactly, she is up to in the race, while others worry about supportive signs from online bot activity and the Russian news media.”
Lerer also noted that Gabbard met in 2017 with Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad.
“This morning, a CNN commentator said on national television that I’m an asset of Russia. Completely despicable,” Gabbard said.
According to Newsweek, CNN analyst Bakari Sellers said Tuesday on the air that Gabbard is “a puppet for the Russian government.”
“As president, I will end these regime change wars,” Gabbard concluded.
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