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Tulsi Gabbard Refuses to Say if Assad is a ‘Murderer’ When Confronted With Kamala Harris Critique

Hawaii Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard stood by her remarks on Thursday morning when she responded to Senator Kamala Harris’ counterattack on her after CNN’s 2020 Democratic primary debate.

While the two of them were on stage Wednesday night, Gabbard landed a few hits on Harris when she criticized Harris’ criminal justice record from when she used to be the state attorney of California. Harris eventually retaliated with a post-debate interview where she mocked Gabbard’s lower polling numbers and called her an “apologist” for Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad.

When Gabbard got her own interview with Anderson Cooper, she defended her on-stage comments by saying “people like Kamala Harris need to be held accountable for their record.” The CNN host noted Harris’ counterattack during the interview, to which, Gabbard said “I think It’s unfortunate and a disservice to voters in this country that she resorts to cheap smears rather than actually addressing her record, the issues that I have raised.”

“I have seen the cost of war firsthand,” Gabbard continued. “I will never apologize for doing all I can to prevent more of my brothers and sisters from being sent into harm’s way to fight counter-productive regime-change wars that make our country less safe and take lives and cost taxpayers trillions more dollars. So if that means meeting with a dictator or meeting with an adversary, absolutely I would do it.”

“Do you consider him a torturer and murderer?” Cooper asked next.

“That’s not what this is about,” Gabbard said. “I don’t defend or apologize or have anything to do with what he has done to his own people.”

Gabbard continued by noting how former U.S. presidents worked with authoritarian leaders in the past when necessary, and saying the attacks on her record with Assad are “distractions away from the central issue.”

Watch above, via CNN.

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