Democratic presidential candidate Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (HI) clashed with the co-hosts on ABC’s “The View” on Wednesday over their unsubstantiated allegations that she is a Russian asset and for appearing on “state TV” Fox News.
Background: Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton recently alleged that Gabbard was being “groomed” by the Russians to be a “third-party candidate” in the 2020 election, without explicitly mentioning Gabbard’s name.
“I’m not making any predictions, but I think they’ve got their eye on somebody who is currently in the Democratic primary and are grooming her to be the third-party candidate,” Clinton said. “She’s the favorite of the Russians.” At the time Gabbard fired back at Clinton several times, including calling her the “personification of the rot that has sickened the Democratic Party.”
Weighing in on the dispute during a segment on The View, co-host Sunny Hostin said: “I’ve often said that Tulsi is sort of the Trojan horse in this. She’s polling at only 1.2 percent, yet she’s still in the race.”
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Behar added: “I don’t say that Tulsi is an agent. I just think that she could be a useful idiot the way Trump is a useful idiot to the Russians. That they see something. They say, ‘Oh look, a useful idiot. Let’s play this.’”
In an appearance on the show Wednesday, Gabbard was asked to weigh in on the ongoing impeachment inquiry into President Trump but she began by defending herself from the hosts’ previous accusations against her. She said she came on the show to directly deny the hosts’ false “innuendos” about her, Mediaite reported.
“Some of you have accused me of being a traitor to my country, a Russian asset, a Trojan horse or… a useful idiot I think was the term that you used,” Gabbard said.
“I am a patriot. I love our country. I am a strong and intelligent woman of color, and I have dedicated almost my entire adult life to protecting the safety, the security and the freedom of all Americans in this country,” she added.
“Franklin Graham finds you refreshing. He doesn’t find me refreshing. Richard Spencer, the white nationalist leader says he can vote for you. You were on “Tucker Carlson” at least ten times,” Behar responded.
“This is why I’m here,” Gabbard continued. “Because you and other people continue to spread these innuendos that have nothing to do with who I am.”
“Are you surprised though that when people see bots and things and all the things that we have sort of been seeing heading your way, that people have these questions? Because she’s not the only one. Hillary — I don’t think is the only one,” Whoopi chimed in.
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“I want to straighten a couple of things out. I have never said, and I don’t think Hillary Clinton thinks you’re a witting asset. You might be an unwitting asset. Not that that means you’re stupid, but people can be used,” Behar said.
“That’s exactly what it means though,” Gabbard responded, but Behar continued to press her.
“You’re on state TV all the time. Why do you go on — Fox TV. The Fox channel? It’s a propaganda – propaganda network, 16 times with Tucker Carlson. I never see you with Chris Wallace or that other guy. What’s his name? Bret Baier? They are definitely middle of the road. Why do you go on with Tucker who is a liar and a propagandist?”
But Gabbard explained that the reason she goes on Fox, and MSNBC, and CNN, and ABC… is because she wants to spread her message, as a candidate, to “every single American in this country” and not just to ” those who agree with” her.
“I go on Tucker Carlson, go on Bret Baier, I go on Sean Hannity, go on MSNBC, go on CNN. I am here to speak to every single American in this country about the unifying leadership that I want to bring as president, not just speak to those who agree with me. But to speak who those who may disagree with me, recognizing that I’m asking for the opportunity to serve every single person in this country,” Gabbard said.
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