Gabbard Defends Meeting with Bashar al-Assad | NTK Network Gabbard Defends Meeting with Bashar al-Assad

Gabbard Defends Meeting with Bashar al-Assad

"Assad is not the enemy of the United States because the United -- Syria does not pose a direct threat to the United States..."

By NTK Staff | 02.06.2019 @12:55pm

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI), a 2020 presidential hopeful, defended her controversial 2017 meeting with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad during an interview on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” on Wednesday.

MSNBC’s Kasie Hunt asked Gabbard whether she thought Assad was the enemy of the United States of America.

“Assad is not the enemy of the United States because … Syria does not pose a direct threat to the United States,” Gabbard said.

Hunt followed up by asking Gabbard what she would say to Democratic voters and members of the U.S. military who disapproved of Gabbard’s meeting with Assad.

“People who have been deployed to Syria have been there, focused on their mission, which has been to defeat ISIS. Our troops have not gone to Syria to wage yet another costly, destructive regime-change war,” Gabbard said. “And many troops I hear from express frustration at the fact that our country continues to wage senseless, costly regime-change wars, followed by nation-building missions leading to situations like we see in Afghanistan.”

MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough seemed flabbergasted by Gabbard saying that Assad is not our enemy and pressed her on whether she thought Assad was an adversary of the United States.

“We have to look to who poses a threat to the United States and the American people,” Gabbard said.

“No, no, no, I understand that, but there are a lot of people who don’t pose a direct military threat to the United States who consider themselves adversaries of the United States,” Scarborough interjected. “I’m just asking, do you consider Assad to be an adversary of the United States of America?”

“When I look at whether it’s Syria or Turkey or Russia or China or other countries in the world, I look at what are their interests are and are their interests counter to our interests?” Gabbard replied.

MSNBC’s Mika Brzezinski followed up by asking Gabbard what is Assad to the U.S., if he is not an adversary or an enemy.

“You can describe it however you want to describe it,” Gabbard said.

“I want to know how you describe it,” Brzezinski interjected.

“My point is that whether it is Syria or any of these other countries, we need to look at how their interests are counter to or aligned with ours,” Gabbard said.

Hunt then pressed Gabbard on whether she thought Assad’s interests aligned with the United States interests.

“What are Assad’s interests?” Gabbard asked Hunt.

“Assad seems interested in the slaughter primarily of his own people in part,” Hunt retorted.

The “Morning Joe” panel then discussed and agreed that Assad’s interest is essentially just survival.

Scarborough asked Gabbard whether she thought it was important to talk about how Assad uses weapons of mass destruction on his own people.

“Of course. 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,” Gabbard responded.

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