Trump Praises Tulsi Gabbard for Voting ‘Present’ on Impeachment: ‘I Give Her a Lot of Respect’
President Donald Trump praised Democratic presidential candidate Rep. Tulsi Gabbard while speaking in Florida on Saturday, saying that he has a lot of respect for her not voting for his impeachment.
The president also defended the congresswoman from Hawaii against the attacks by Hillary Clinton and her allies, who claim that Gabbard is a “favorite of the Russians.”
“Then she said Tulsi Gabbard is a weapon of Russia,” Trump said. “And they lost all credibility because you know that Tulsi Gabbard — and I give her respect. She didn’t vote the other day. I give her a lot of respect, because she knew it was wrong. But I don’t know, but I know one thing. She is not an agent of Russia.”
"I give her respect. She didn't vote the other day. I give her a lot of respect because she knew it was wrong."@realDonaldTrump praises @TulsiGabbard for voting "present" on the articles of impeachment rather than vote "yes" like other Democrats.https://t.co/HUBticINiJ pic.twitter.com/4eVsX5e4jg
— Washington Examiner (@dcexaminer) December 22, 2019
Gabbard defiantly opted to ignore party leadership and vote “present” instead of “yes” on impeachment last week.
During an interview in October, Clinton, a bitter twice-failed presidential candidate, said that Gabbard is “the favorite of the Russians. They have a bunch of sites and bots and other ways of supporting her, so far.”
Gabbard has gained supporters on both the right and the left for her willingness to engage with people no matter their political views. She has repeatedly said that you can’t lead Americans as president if you’re going to throw “half of them away.”
“It’s one thing to say you’re gonna go on Fox News and tussle with Sean Hannity about things you disagree on, but what they see as more dangerous is finding areas where you actually do agree,” Gabbard proclaimed. “I have a platform to be able to speak to millions of people across the country about the kind of leadership I bring in the area of foreign policy. What I would do here in this country, what I would do there in that country if I were president today. And I have the opportunity to deliver that message directly to people’s living rooms or offices or wherever they are.”
Rep. Gabbard was attacked by Sen. Kamala Harris during the November Democratic Primary debate for her willingness to appear on Fox News.
“I think in some of these areas, Tucker and I will disagree on a whole host of things, but on some of these issues of foreign policy he’ll say, ‘Yeah, I agree with you,’” she continued. “And I think when you look at this cancel culture — I was attacked on the debate stage for going on Fox News — how do you think you’re gonna lead this country, all Americans, if you’re completely not only shutting out and not willing to do talk to half the country that watches Fox News, but you’re in fact disrespecting and dismissing them just because they may disagree with you, or they watch a different news channel than you do. I think that’s the bigger issue here, is you know, yeah, there’s a political consequence.”
She noted that you can’t win support from people that you treat “like garbage.”
“This is why, I’ll go on Fox News, MSNBC, CNN and I’m delivering the exact same message to people and we’re building and growing support in people who watch those three different channels,” Gabbard said. “You’re never going to be able to have a dialogue … win support from people who you treat like garbage, who you disrespect, who you call names, who you call deplorables. But how do you expect to lead as the president of every single American in this country when you’ve thrown half of them away?”