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 drops defamation lawsuit against Clinton It's as if a Trump operative infiltrated the Democratic primary process 125 lawmakers urge Trump administration to support National Guard troops amid pandemic 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 WarrenJudd Gregg: Biden — a path to the presidency, or not Vogue's Anna Wintour urges Biden to pick woman of color for VP Biden should name a 'team of colleagues' MORE (Mass.), Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisJudd Gregg: Biden — a path to the presidency, or not Vogue's Anna Wintour urges Biden to pick woman of color for VP Biden should name a 'team of colleagues' MORE (Calif.), Kirsten GillibrandKirsten GillibrandSenate Dems press DOJ over coronavirus safety precautions in juvenile detention centers Senate Democrat introduces bill to protect food supply It's as if a Trump operative infiltrated the Democratic primary process MORE (N.Y.) and Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerThis week: Senate reconvenes as protests roil nation amid pandemic City leaders, Democratic lawmakers urge Trump to tamp down rhetoric as protests rage across US Sunday shows - George Floyd's death, protests bump COVID-19 from headlines MORE (N.J.) have already said they’re running or signaled they intend to join the race.