Representative Tulsi Gabbard (D., Hawaii) sparred with Joy Behar on ABC’s The View on Wednesday over Behar’s apparent endorsement of former secretary of state Hillary Clinton’s “outrageous and offensive” claim that she was being “groomed” by Republicans and assisted by Russians in order to disrupt the Democratic primary.
“Recently on your show here, some of you have accused me of being a traitor to my country, a Russian asset, a Trojan Horse, or a useful idiot, which basically means I’m naive or lack the intelligence to know what’s going on,” Gabbard said in her first remarks on the show. “I want to let your viewers know exactly who I am. Set the record straight. I am a patriot, I love our country, I am a strong and intelligent woman of color, and I have dedicated almost my entire adult life to protecting the safety, the security, and the freedom of all Americans in this country.”
Last month, Clinton made headlines for suggesting Gabbard was “a favorite of the Russians” and was eyeing a potential third-party run, which prompted View host Joy Behar to label Gabbard a “useful idiot.”
“She tweeted back and called Hillary a ‘warmonger,’” Behar said at the time, after Gabbard responded to Clinton on Twitter. ”That does not do anything for me. She hasn’t denied it, she hasn’t said anything in her tweets, ‘how dare you, that’s outrageous, of course I’m not’ — she didn’t say that. She’s just going after Hillary.”
On Wednesday, Behar fired back at Gabbard, saying, “Franklin Graham finds you refreshing. He doesn’t find me refreshing. Richard Spencer, the white nationalist leader, says he could vote for you. You’re on Tucker Carlson at least ten times, why don’t you go on Chris Wallace’s show?”
“This is why I’m here,” Gabbard replied. “Because you and other people continue to spread these innuendos that have nothing to do with who I am. Unfortunately, you doubled down on the baseless accusations that she made that strikes at the core of who I am. I am a soldier, because of the attacks on 9/11, I enlisted in the military to go after and defeat and destroy the evil that visited us on that day. I’ve served now for over 16 years, deployed twice to the Middle East during the height of the war, where every single day I saw firsthand the terribly high human cost. It’s why I ran for Congress.”