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Gabbard Defends Bernie in Face of Sexism Accusations: ‘He Showed Me the Greatest Respect’

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard speaks at the Iowa State Fair in Des Moines, Iowa, August 9, 2019. (Scott Morgan/Reuters)

Tulsi Gabbard (D., Hawaii) said Tuesday night that Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.) approved of her decision to run for president prior to the 2020 race in response to Elizabeth Warren’s (D., Mass.) claim that Sanders “disagreed” that a female Democrat could win the presidency.

“We had a nice one-on-one conversation and I informed him that I would be running for President. In that meeting, he showed me the greatest respect and encouragement, just as he always has,” Gabbard tweeted.

Earlier Tuesday, Warren’s campaign confirmed a report that in a 2018 conversation between the two senators, Bernie had not agreed with Warren that a woman could defeat Donald Trump.

“Among the topics that came up was what would happen if Democrats nominated a female candidate. I thought a woman could win; he disagreed,” Warren said in a statement. “I have no interest in discussing this private meeting any further because Bernie and I have far more in common than our differences on punditry.”

In a statement to CNN, Sanders denied the characterization of the meeting, calling it “ludicrous.”

“What I did say that night was that Donald Trump is a sexist, a racist and a liar who would weaponize whatever he could,” Sanders said. “Do I believe a woman can win in 2020? Of course! After all, Hillary Clinton beat Donald Trump by 3 million votes in 2016.”

In October, Sanders came to Gabbard’s defense after Hillary Clinton implied she was a “Russian asset,” while Warren refused to comment.

“Tulsi Gabbard has put her life on the line to defend this country. People can disagree on issues, but it is outrageous for anyone to suggest that Tulsi is a foreign asset,” Sanders tweeted.

Gabbard has long been an ally of Sanders, including in 2016 when she renounced her DNC vice chairwomanship to endorse Sanders over Clinton. Gabbard also has a close relationship with Nina Turner, co-chair of the Sanders campaign, with whom she has campaigned in the past.

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