Gabbard: Appearing on Fox News allows me to speak to Trump

Rep. Tulsi GabbardTulsi GabbardThe perfect Democratic running mate for DeSantis? Progressives breathe sigh of relief after Afghan withdrawal Hillicon Valley: US has made progress on cyber but more needed, report says | Democrat urges changes for 'problematic' crypto language in infrastructure bill | Facebook may be forced to unwind Giphy acquisition MORE (D-Hawaii) is doubling down on her defense over appearing on Fox News, saying it gives her a platform to speak to millions of people — including President TrumpDonald TrumpTrump announces new social media network called 'TRUTH Social' Virginia State Police investigating death threat against McAuliffe Meadows hires former deputy AG to represent him in Jan. 6 probe: report MORE — on a hot-button issues.  

The 2020 presidential hopeful has frequently stood up for her appearances on the network, telling Hill.TV on Thursday that it is "important to share this diversity of views" and "not just shut out a huge segment of the population." 

“They’re giving me a platform to speak to millions of people — one of whom is Donald Trump — to deliver this really important message about making sure that our leaders, specifically, our president is making decisions that actually serve our national security interests, and I think that’s critical,” she said. 

Gabbard, a veteran of the Iraq War, has been critical of Trump’s decision to order an airstrike that killed top Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani.

In her latest Fox News appearance, Gabbard argued that Trump’s order of the airstrike had undermined national security interests by ensuring that Iran would stop following the 2015 nuclear agreement, as well as complicating the effort to fight ISIS and al-Qaeda.

Gabbard emphasized these sentiments during her appearance on Hill.TV, saying the U.S. cannot have a president "making decisions based who is a bad guy or who has blood on their hands.”

“The commander-in-chief’s responsibility is to make decisions that serve the national security interests of the United States and the American people,” she said. “This decision that Donald Trump has made does not do that — it actually undermines our national security interests.”

Democrats, including Gabbard, have criticized the move to kill Soleimani as an unconstitutional act of war because the president didn’t seek congressional approval before moving forward. The Democratic-controlled House has since voted on a measure aimed at limiting Trump's authority to take further military action against Iran. 

Gabbard has shown a willingness to break with the party over certain issues, including impeachment. The Hawaii representative voted "present" last month after the House moved to impeach the president on abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. 

She has also faced backlash for her criticism of former President Obama and the Democratic Party as a whole.

In a November 2020 primary debate, Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisMcAuliffe rolls out ad featuring Obama ahead of campaign stop McAuliffe, Youngkin tied less than two weeks out from Virginia's Election Day: poll Are supply chain disruptions the beginning of the end of globalization? MORE (D-Calif.), who has since ended her  presidential bid, accused Gabbard of undercutting Obama on Fox News over the course of his presidency. Gabbard quickly dismissed the claim as "ridiculous." 

Gabbard, who in October announced she will not seek reelection to her House seat, has even had to address the possibility of her launching a third-party White House bid should she fail to secure the nomination, an option she has repeatedly denied.

Her comments come after Trump slammed Democrats for being critical of his decision to kill Soleimani.

“The radical left Democrats have expressed outrage over the termination of this horrible terrorist. And you know, instead, they should be outraged by Soleimani’s savage crimes and the fact that his countless victims were denied justice,” Trump said at a Thursday rally in Toledo, Ohio.

Some Republicans have also been critical of Trump’s war powers. 

Following a closed-door briefing on the airstrike, Sen. Mike LeeMichael (Mike) Shumway LeeCawthorn, Lee introduce bills banning interstate travel vaccine mandate Retreating economy creates new hurdle for Democrats in 2022 McConnell vows GOP won't help raise debt ceiling in December after Schumer 'tantrum' MORE (R-Utah) called it “absurd” and “insane” to use the 2002 Iraq war authorization as the basis for Soleimani’s death.

—Tess Bonn