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Duckworth says Trump, Carlson questioning her patriotism to distract from president's 'failure to lead our nation'

Sen. Tammy DuckworthLadda (Tammy) Tammy DuckworthOvernight Defense: Trump orders troop drawdown in Afghanistan and Iraq | Key Republicans call Trump plan a 'mistake' Top Democrat calls Trump's Afghan drawdown 'the right policy decision' as others warn of 'mistake' Overnight Defense: Another Defense official resigns | Pentagon chief says military 'remains strong' despite purge | Top contender for Biden DOD secretary would be historic pick MORE (D-Ill.) blasted President TrumpDonald John TrumpVenezuela judge orders prison time for 6 American oil executives Trump says he'll leave White House if Biden declared winner of Electoral College The Memo: Biden faces tough road on pledge to heal nation MORE and Fox News anchor Tucker CarlsonTucker CarlsonEx-Trump campaign lawyer Sidney Powell files lawsuits in Michigan, Georgia The Memo: Trump election loss roils right More conservatives break with Trump over election claims MORE for assailing her patriotism, saying it was intended to distract from the president’s “failure to lead our nation.”

The Illinois senator, who is also being considered as a running mate for former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenTrump says he'll leave White House if Biden declared winner of Electoral College The Memo: Biden faces tough road on pledge to heal nation US records 2,300 COVID-19 deaths as pandemic rises with holidays MORE (D), was the subject of attacks from both the Fox News host and Trump, who accused her of “hat[ing] America” after she said “we should listen to the argument” in favor of removing statues of George Washington.

Carlson called the senator a “coward” after she declined to come on his show without him first apologizing.

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Trump later tweeted a video of Carlson’s segment and his reelection campaign accused the senator in a statement of “using her military service to deflect from her support for the left-wing campaign to villainize America's founding."

However, Duckworth contends that both Carlson and Trump are questioning her patriotism to distract people from Trump's "failure" to lead the country and get him reelected. 

“[W]hat I actually said isn’t the reason Mr. Carlson and Mr. Trump are questioning my patriotism, nor is it why they’re using the same racist insults against me that have been slung my way time and again in years past, though they have never worked on me,” Duckworth, a veteran who lost both legs serving in Iraq in 2004, wrote in a New York Times op-ed.

“They’re doing it because they’re desperate for America’s attention to be on anything other than Donald Trump’s failure to lead our nation, and because they think that Mr. Trump’s electoral prospects will be better if they can turn us against one another,” she added. “Their goal isn’t to make — or keep — America great. It’s to keep Mr. Trump in power, whatever the cost.”

Duckworth goes on to claim Trump and Carlson are attempting to divert attention from the coronavirus pandemic as well as reports that the Trump administration failed to act on intelligence that Russian officials offered bounties for the deaths of American troops in Afghanistan.

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Duckworth closes the op-ed by quoting Washington’s farewell address, which warned against “the impostures of pretended patriotism.”

“[W] hile I would put on my old uniform and go to war all over again to protect the right of Tucker Carlson and Donald Trump to say offensive things on TV and Twitter, I will also spend every moment I can from now until November fighting to elect leaders who would rather do good for their country than do well for themselves,” she concludes.

The senator's op-ed comes as the United States continues to grapple with the spread of the coronavirus, with states in the South and western parts of the country experiencing serious surges of infections. 

Trump claimed over Fourth of July weekend again that the increase in cases was a result of an increase in testing, and called 99 percent of the infections "harmless."