Tulsi Gabbard on online Russian support: They agree it's better when we're 'not on the brink of nuclear war'

Tulsi Gabbard on online Russian support: They agree it's better when we're 'not on the brink of nuclear war'
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Presidential candidate Rep. Tulsi GabbardTulsi GabbardNew Quinnipiac poll finds Biden leading in New Hampshire Gabbard lawyers demand retraction of Clinton's 'defamation' Krystal Ball praises former McConnell aide's historic win in Kentucky MORE (D-Hawaii) says that support she's gotten from Russia could be due to the fact that Russia, like the U.S., does not want to be close to nuclear war. 

Asked by The Atlantic about the support for a story published Thursday, Gabbard said, “I don't have any explanation for these things, other than the fact that the world and other countries, including Russia, are in agreeance that we are in a better place in the world when we're not on the brink of nuclear war.”

Russia's RT news agency often features Gabbard's campaign, according to The Atlantic. The Russian Embassy in South Africa has also tweeted in defense of her, and Russian bots have reportedly boosted her campaign online.

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"Within the first week in office, I would call for a summit with Russia and with China, to understand and to begin the conversation to de-escalate tensions that have brought us to the point of being closer to nuclear catastrophe than ever before,” Gabbard said.

When The Atlantic asked her whether Moscow's interference in the 2016 election was an attack, the candidate responded that "as a soldier," the word "means certain things to me.”

“They’re very real issues that we need to address with Russia. I believe that we need to address them in a diplomatic fashion, and not carelessly escalate tensions with the country where we and they still have thousands of nuclear missiles pointed at each other,” she added. 

Gabbard told the news outlet that a more aggressive approach would end with nuclear conflict.

“I’m the candidate of the American people and for the American people. Any insinuation otherwise is an offense to somebody who wears the uniform of this country. I will give my life for this country,” she sad. “I don’t want to hear anybody saying anything insinuating that my loyalties lie anywhere but to our country.”

Gabbard, a veteran of the Iraq War, has expressed great opposition to military conflict throughout her campaign. Some of her foreign policy decisions have faced scrutiny, especially her 2017 meeting with Syrian President Bashar Assad and her refusal to call him a war criminal

The Hawaii lawmaker is among the 20 people competing for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination. She did not qualify for the next primary debate, scheduled for Thursday.