Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI), the firebrand anti-establishment Democratic Party presidential contender, entered into hostile territory on Wednesday when she made an appearance on ABC’s “The View.”
Gabbard had a particularly tense exchange with comedian Joy Behar, who argued the Democratic Party line on Russia and pretty much every other issue.
“Some of you have accused me of being a traitor to my country, a Russian asset, a Trojan horse or a useful idiot was the term I think you used,” Gabbard said. “Which basically means that I’m naive or lack intelligence to know what’s going on. I want to let your viewers know exactly who I am, set the record straight.
Gabbard described herself as a “patriot” as well as a “strong and intelligent woman of color” who has “dedicated almost my entire adult life to protecting the safety, security and the freedom of all Americans in this country.”
Behar grilled Gabbard based on support she has found on the right-wing due to her willingness to criticize failed presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and call out her party’s hysterical neo-McCarthyism around President Trump’s supposed Russian collusion.
“I guess we’re getting a little bit far ahead of ourselves but [right-wing televangelist and Christian leader] Franklin Graham finds you refreshing. He doesn’t find me refreshing,” Behar said.
“Richard Spencer, the white nationalist leader, says he could vote for you,” Behar added.
Gabbard cut in while laughing at the ridiculous accusations: “Joy, this is why I’m here.”
“I mean you’re on [with right-wing Fox News host] Tucker Carlson at least ten times, why don’t you go on [Fox News anchor] Chris Wallace’s show?” Behar asked.
“This is why I’m here,” Gabbard snapped back. “Because you and other people continue to spread these innuendos that have nothing to do with who I am.”
Gabbard explained to Behar why she felt the need to call Clinton “the queen of warmongers” after the failed presidential candidate inferred on a podcast that Gabbard is a Russian asset.
“Unfortunately, you double down on the baseless accusations that she made that strikes at the core of who I am,” Gabbard told Behar. “I’m a soldier … I’ve served now for over 16 years. I’ve deployed twice to the Middle East during the height of the war, where every day I saw the terribly high human cost, which is why I ran for Congress.”
Behar actually suggested that Gabbard could be an “unwitting” Russian asset, condescendingly adding “not that that means you’re stupid, but people can be used.” Gabbard was offended by Behar’s baseless assertion.
“That exactly what that means though,” Gabbard replied. “Let me start with how offensive it is to say that I’m a witting or unwitting asset of a foreign country, working against the interests of my country, a country that I am willing to lay my life down for. So if you are saying it’s not deliberately, then you are implying that I am too stupid and too naive and lack the intelligence to know what I am doing. And that is extremely offensive to me and to every woman of color.”
Strangely enough, Gabbard found some respect from host Meghan McCain, daughter of the late neoconservative Sen. John McCain. She had criticized Gabbard harshly in the past, but has grown to respect the Hawaiian Congresswoman in recent months.
“You evoke really strong reactions from people,” McCain said. “I know what that’s like, from the left and the right. And you seem to be a threat to both sides. Why do you think you trigger so many people in so many different ways, because I don’t completely understand it, but I myself am a trigger, so maybe that’s why I don’t get it.”
“Because I’m speaking truth to power, and those in power know they can’t control me,” Gabbard responded, “so they view me and the truth I’m speaking as a threat to that power base.”
Gabbard’s presence as an anti-war voice among the insane and xenophobic Democratic fold has caused her to shine, and coalesce an enthusiastic following around her non-interventionist foreign policy.