Presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders has come to the defense of fellow Democratic contender Tulsi Gabbard, batting away claims – spread by former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton – that the dovish candidate is a “foreign asset.”
The progressive stalwart from Vermont took to Twitter on Monday to reject any suggestion Gabbard worked for a foreign power, as Clinton implied in a recent interview, insisting her patriotic bonafides as a combat veteran were beyond question.
“Tulsi Gabbard has put her life on the line to defend this country,” the senator tweeted. “People can disagree on issues, but it is outrageous for anyone to suggest that Tulsi is a foreign asset.”
Gabbard has come under fire throughout the presidential race over her foreign policy views in particular, with critics touting her non-interventionist positions – namely in Syria – as proof of her allegiance to foreign powers.
While a number of Bernie supporters thanked the Senator for having Tulsi’s back, some commenters online were disappointed by how long he took to muster a defense, with fellow Democratic candidates Beto O’Rourke, Andrew Yang and Pete Buttigieg beating him to the punch over the weekend.
Other commenters predicted it was only a matter of time before Bernie earned his own ‘foreign agent’ accusation, for defending the wrong people.
“They’re going to use her support for you and your connection to her as a way to smear you as a Russian asset, senator,” one supporter wrote. “Please be prepared.”
Naturally, those still enamored with the Russiagate conspiracy theory also took to social media to reiterate Clinton’s claim, and even supplement her theory, with one commenter positing a mysterious comparison between Gabbard and Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh.
Tulsi’s own response to Clinton’s allegation was perhaps the most devastating, shredding the former secretary of state and failed 2016 presidential candidate as the “queen of warmongers” and the “embodiment of corruption,” and even invited her to join the race.
Gabbard served in Iraq as a combat medic with the Hawaii Army National Guard, completing her first tour of duty in 2005. She was deployed again to Kuwait from 2008 to 2009 as an Army military police officer. Alongside her career as a lawmaker, she continues to serve as a major.
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