Tulsi Gabbard Accuses MSNBC Anchor of Using ‘Talking Points’ From Kamala Harris to Question Her

Tulsi Gabbard Accuses MSNBC Anchor of Using ‘Talking Points’ From Kamala Harris to Question Her

There were some tense moments on MSNBC Thursday afternoon as Rep. Tulsi Gabbard accused anchor Yasmin Vossoughian of grilling her with talking points about Syria fed to the host by Kamala Harris’ campaign.

Gabbard had been criticizing President Trump for his close alliance with Saudi Arabia, a country she accuses of fueling “both ISIS and Al-Qaeda” by spreading Wahabism, the radical form of Sunni Islam that forms the basis for part of the ideologies of both terrorist groups. This alliance with the Saudis, in Gabbard’s tellings, means that Trump both directly and indirectly supports Al-Qaeda in Syria, where that nation’s leader Bashar al-Assad has been fighting a civil war against insurgent groups for almost a decade.

Vossoughian tried to draw a parallel between Gabbard’s willingness to meet with Assad on a Syria trip several years ago and Trump’s eagerness to ally with the dictatorship that controls Saudi Arabia. Gabbard responded that presidents have a long history of meeting with dictators when it served America’s interests.

“So why meeting with people like Bashar al-Assad but not necessarily meeting with the leader of Saudi Arabia or having a relationship with them,” adding that there seemed to be “inconsistencies” in Gabbard’s position.

Gabbard pushed back, repeating her point that Trump’s cozying up to Saudi Arabia’s leaders was somehow de facto support for Al-Qaeda and for the Saudis’ “genocidal war” in Yemen.

Vossoughian came back with the point that Assad has allegedly been responsible for the deaths of half a million of his own countrymen by prosecuting the war there, including through chemical weapons attacks on the civilian population. That was the point where Gabbard seemed to get upset:

“I want to break down what we’re talking about here today because you’re talking about a meeting that took place, what, three years ago…It sounds like — these are talking points that Kamala Harris and her campaign are feeding you.”

The segment ended with Vossoughian giving Gabbard a lecture that she was asking about the congresswoman’s foreign policy positions and her meeting with Assad because the decisions she has made on such issues should be part of evaluating her as she runs for President of the United States.

Watch the clip above, via MSNBC.

Gary Legum

Gary Legum has written about politics and culture for Independent Journal Review, Salon, The Daily Beast, Wonkette, AlterNet and McSweeney's, among others. He currently lives in his native state of Virginia.