Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, a Democrat running for her party’s 2020 presidential nomination, continues to scoff at charges that her campaign is being backed by prominent Russian sympathizers. She like Trump calls it “fake news.”
“Fake news” is the favorite phrase of the Trumpies, Trump himself has tweeted it hundreds of times during his reign.
Gabbard has received donations to her 2020 campaign from supporters of Russian President Vladimir Putin, including a Russian studies professor and an employee of the Russian government-funded broadcaster RT.
Gabbard also has received sharp criticism for her refusal to call Syrian President Bashar Assad a war criminal — a position aligned with Russia’s stance not that of the United States.
Gabbard is called a progressive by some but there no evidence of that It’s true that she has voiced support Medicare for all and free college tuition, her actual record skews center-right. She has broken from her party on votes to increase restrictions on refugees and weaken gun control. She has introduced legislation supported by GOP donor Sheldon Adelson and interviewed for a possible position in Trump’s Cabinet.
Many Democrats balk at Gabbard’s tactics and lengthy opposition-research file, which is bulging with ties to controversial figures and lingering questions about her conservative upbringing. While some say her opposition to military intervention in Syria makes her an advocate for peace, others say it makes her a “mouthpiece” for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. In 2017, she was widely rebuked for taking a meeting with Assad, an act that legitimized the accused war criminal, and saying she was “skeptical” of the U.S. conclusion that Assad had used chemical weapons. The previous year, she was one of only three members of Congress to vote against a resolution condemning the Syrian government’s use of force against its own people.
Gabbard grew up a spiritual follower of a Hare Krishna sect that has been accused by former members of being an authoritarian cult. Its teachings include anti-gay activism, something that has already created headaches for Gabbard’s presidential campaign. As a teenager, Gabbard worked with her father, a fervent crusader against gay rights, at the Alliance for Traditional Marriage, which supported conversion therapy and helped pass an anti-same-sex marriage law. At least twice as a state representative, Gabbard referred to LGBT-rights advocates as “homosexual extremists.” She has since apologized,
All in all, she looks like Putin’s perfect replacement for Jill Stein this election cycle.