Tulsi Gabbard launched a scathing attack on CNN and the New York Times during Tuesday night's Democratic debate in Ohio. 12 candidates took the stage as part of the Democratic debate hosted by CNN and the New York Times .
Gabbard accused the two influential outlets of indulging in a smear campaign against her by maliciously presenting her call for an end to the “regime-change war” in Syria as a case of allegiance to Russia.
“The New York Times and CNN have also smeared veterans like myself for calling to an end to this regime-change war,” Gabbard told the crowd in Ohio.
“Just two days ago, the New York Times put out an article saying I am a Russian asset and an Assad apologist and all these different smears,” the charismatic Congress woman from Hawaii said. “This morning a CNN commentator said on national television that I’m an asset of Russia. Completely despicable.”
Gabbard was referring to an article that appeared in Time titled “What, Exactly, is Tulsi Gabbard Up To?”
CNN analyst Bakari Sellers had called her a “puppet for the Russian government.”
Tulsi also blamed politicians across both the parties and a large section of media for Kurdish deaths following Donald Trump's decision to withdraw from the region. Gabbard accused Trump for ordering the withdrawal of U.S. troops from northern Syria, a move that has garnered bipartisan criticism.
"Donald Trump has the blood of the Kurds on his hand[s], 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," she said.
“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.
Gabbard said that she would decisively end “regime-change” wars in the region by ceasing “draconian sanctions,” which she called a “modern-day siege.”
Gabbard, a military veteran who served in Iraq, said that she would “stop supporting terrorists like al-Qaeda who have been the ground force for the regime-change war in Syria”.
Departing from her party position, Gabbard said that impeachment efforts against Trump is driven by “hyper-partisan interests,” and suggested that Democrats wanted to impeach Trump from the very beginning of his tenure.
Gabbard also used the debate to position herself as an unifying forced. She took a subtle dig at former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, saying, “When I look out at our country. I don’t see deplorables. I see fellow Americans.”
“ I don't see deplorables, I see fellow Americans worthy of respect even when we disagree strongly. I will restore a WH w/ compassion & respect for all regardless of race, religion, orientation, gender or political affiliation” she added.
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