“Some of you have accused me of being a traitor to my country, a Russian asset, a Trojan horse or a useful idiot, I think is the term that you used, which basically means that I am naive or lack intelligence,” Gabbard said, adding that she wanted to set the record straight.
“I am a patriot. I love our country. I am a strong and intelligent woman of color and I have dedicated almost my entire adult life to protecting the safety, security and the freedom of all Americans in this country,” the Samoan-born Army veteran said.
Gabbard has come under fire in part because she has defended dictators like Syrian dictator Bashar Assad and Egyptian strongman Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi, whose regime has massacred protesters.
She also recently accused Hillary Clinton of being the “personification of the rot that has sickened the Democratic Party for so long” after the former secretary of state suggested that “somebody who’s currently in the Democratic primary” is being groomed “to be the third-party candidate.”
Co-host Joy Behar tried to assuage Gabbard’s gripes by suggesting that she is simply an an “unwitting” asset of Russia and added “not that that means you’re stupid, but people can be used.”
Gabbard wasn’t having it.
“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,” she said. “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.”
Co-host Meghan McCain then wondered why Gabbard ”[triggers] so many people in so many different ways.”
Gabbard appreciated the softball question pitched right down the middle.
“Because I’m speaking truth to power, and those in power know they can’t control me,” Gabbard answered, “so they view me and the truth I’m speaking as a threat to that power base.”
McCain then thanked the congresswoman for not threatening to take away her guns, at which point Behar chimed in, “I’ll take them.”
The interview went through two commercial breaks, but you can see one of the segments below:
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