Gabbard spars with MSNBC host, suggests her questions came from Harris campaign

Rep. Tulsi GabbardTulsi GabbardGabbard slams New York Times profile of her Krystal Ball defends praise of Yang: I am not 'a Russian plant' Gabbard backs Sanders proposal to ban advertisements during primary debates MORE (D-Hawaii) suggested during an on-air interview Thursday that questions posed to her by the MSNBC anchor came from the campaign of rival Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisRepublicans wrestle with impeachment strategy Klobuchar takes shots at health and education plans supported by Sanders and Warren Kamala Harris to Trump Jr.: 'You wouldn't know a joke if one raised you' MORE (D-Calif.).

Gabbard, who sparred with Harris during Wednesday night's Democratic presidential debate in Detroit, criticized the cable news network while speaking with MSNBC anchor Yasmin Vossoughian, who asked Gabbard about her 2017 meeting with Syrian President Bashar Assad.

ADVERTISEMENT

"When sitting down with someone like Bashar al-Assad in Syria, do you confront him directly and say, 'Why do you order chemical attacks on your own people? Why do you cause the killings of over half a million people in your country?'" Vossoughian asked.

Gabbard did not directly answer the question, instead arguing that the cable network frequently brings up the meeting.

"Every time I come back here on MSNBC, you guys talk to me about these issues. It sounds like these are talking points that Kamala Harris and her campaign are feeding you," Gabbard said.

Vossoughian, talking over Gabbard, said the question was not a "talking point."

"It's important, I think, for the American people to have context about your foreign policy issues and where you stand," Vossoughian added.

"If you're leading with foreign policy and you're running for the president of the United States, a meeting with Bashar al-Assad, which I'm sure you understand, is a very controversial meeting to take; hence the reason why when you come on MSNBC," she added. "It is important for us to talk to you about that. And of course every anchor has a different perspective and different questions to ask."

Gabbard pushed back, arguing the line of questioning has been persistent.

"Every single time for three years?" Gabbard asked. "This is where the propaganda comes in, because I've talked about this a lot for the past three years."

The exchange followed an argument between Gabbard and Harris during Wednesday's debate, when the Hawaii lawmaker went after Harris's record as a prosecutor in California.

Gabbard accused Harris of keeping “people in prison beyond their sentences to use them as cheap labor.”

“Sen. Harris says she’s proud of her record as a prosecutor and that she’ll be a prosecutor president, but I’m deeply concerned about this record,” Gabbard said on the debate stage.

Harris defended her tenure as California's attorney general, saying, “I did the work of significantly changing the criminal justice system and I’m proud of that work."

In an interview with CNN after the debate, she criticized Gabbard for meeting with Assad and declining to call him a war criminal.

“Listen, this coming from someone who has been an apologist for an individual, Assad, who has murdered the people of his country like cockroaches,” Harris told CNN.

The two politicians are among more than two dozen candidates running for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination.

Gabbard wasn't the only 2020 Democrat to question the origin of questions from broadcast journalists.

Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersSanders wishes Ocasio-Cortez happy birthday Video of fake Trump shooting members of media shown at his Miami resort: report Sanders can gain ground by zeroing in on corruption MORE (I-Vt.) this week accused CNN anchor Jake TapperJacob (Jake) Paul TapperBiden praises Buttigieg for criticizing GOP attacks: 'That's a good man' White House officials stand by Syria withdrawal, sanctions delay amid bipartisan pushback Kasich to Congress: 'Look in the mirror at how you want to be remembered' MORE of asking questions based on a Republican "talking point" at Tuesday night's debate.

When Tapper asked candidates if they supported raising taxes on the middle class to pay for "Medicare for All," Sanders responded by saying, "What I’m talking about, and others up here are talking about, is no deductibles and no copayments. And, Jake, your question is a Republican talking point.”

--Updated at 5:19 p.m.