Gabbard pushes back on Assad criticisms: ‘We heard attacks from warmongers' before

Gabbard pushes back on Assad criticisms: ‘We heard attacks from warmongers' before
© Greg Nash

Democratic presidential candidate Tulsi GabbardTulsi GabbardGabbard clashes with Fox News anchor: You're 'twisting and misconstruing my policies' Moulton enters 2020 White House race Tulsi Gabbard fundraises off 4/20: 'Appalls me' that feds consider marijuana illegal MORE on Wednesday pushed back on criticism over her comments regarding Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad.

The Hawaii congresswoman, a staunch opponent of military interventions, took a shot at "warmongers in politics/media" and accused critics of trying to "smear" her after she discussed her views on Assad during an interview on MSNBC earlier in the day.

“We heard attacks from warmongers in politics/media before. Those opposed to Iraq/Libya/Syria regime change wars are called ‘dicatator-lovers’ or ‘cozy’ with evil regimes. Rather than defend their position, they resort to name-calling & smears. American people [won’t] fall for this,” Gabbard tweeted.

Gabbard has faced bipartisan criticism since 2017 after she met with Assad, who much of the international community say is to blame for hundreds of thousands of deaths in Syria’s civil war. 

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She defended herself last month after announcing her White House bid, saying it's important “to be willing to meet with others, whether they be friends or adversaries.”

“It continues to be very important for any leader in this country to be willing to meet with others, whether they be friends or adversaries or potential adversaries, if we are serious about the pursuit of peace and securing our country,” she said on CNN.

Gabbard's views on Assad were brought back into the spotlight Wednesday morning after she said she did not consider him to be an enemy of the United States.

"Assad is not the enemy of the United States because Syria does not pose a direct threat to the United States," she said during an appearance on MSNBC's "Morning Joe." 

When asked if Assad is an adversary of the U.S., Gabbard replied, “You can describe it however you want to describe it.” 

Gabbard is among an early group of candidates to join what is expected to be a crowded Democratic primary field next year.

Several other Democratic lawmakers including Sens. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenTrump pushes back on impeachment talk: 'Tables are finally turning on the Witch Hunt!' Warren unveils plan to cancel student loan debt, create universal free college Moulton enters 2020 White House race MORE (Mass.), Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisWarren unveils plan to cancel student loan debt, create universal free college Moulton enters 2020 White House race The Hill's Morning Report - Is impeachment back on the table? MORE (Calif.), Kirsten GillibrandKirsten Elizabeth GillibrandWarren unveils plan to cancel student loan debt, create universal free college Cory Booker has a problem in 2020: Kamala Harris Booker to supporter who wanted him to punch Trump: 'Black guys like us, we don't get away with that' MORE (N.Y.) and Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerWarren unveils plan to cancel student loan debt, create universal free college The Hill's Morning Report - Is impeachment back on the table? Booker: Barr's suggestion of spying on Trump campaign 'eroded' public's trust MORE (N.J.) have already said they’re running or signaled they intend to join the race.