Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) said in an interview on MSNBC Wednesday that Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad is “not an enemy of the United States.”
Gabbard, who announced last month that she’s running for president in 2020, often draws fire from critics because of an unsanctioned meeting she had with Assad after the Battle of Aleppo in 2017. The congresswoman says she doesn’t regret the meeting, having to defend herself in the past by saying politicians should be willing to meet with Assad if it means there’s a chance for peace in Syria, despite his egregious human rights record.
As Gabbard discussed Syria on Morning Joe, Kasie Hunt cut to the chase and asked her: “Do you think Assad is our enemy?”
“Assad is not the enemy of the United States,” Gabbard replied, “because Syria does not pose a direct threat to the United States.”
From there, Gabbard was repeatedly grilled on how she could say Assad is not an enemy of the U.S., when American troops have been dispatched to the region in response to the bloody civil war.
Morning Joe co-hosts Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski repeatedly pressed Gabbard on whether Assad was an “adversary” — a term the Hawaii congresswoman refused to apply to the murderous dictator.
Gabbard argued that combatting ISIS is America’s primary goal in the Middle East, and the country should not repeatedly engage in foreign wars and nation-building. When Hunt brought up Assad’s use of chemical weapons against his own citizens, Gabbard’s response was: “it’s important to talk about how our military is being used, what it is costing them, what is costing the American people and whether or not those missions, those objectives, serve the security of the United States and the American people.”
Watch above, via MSNBC.