by WorldTribune Staff, April 11, 2017
Leading Democrats expressed outrage after Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, who met with Syrian President Bashar Assad earlier this year, pressed the U.S. to prove that Syria was responsible for last week’s chemical attack.
Gabbard said she has not seen enough evidence that Assad was behind the chemical attack that led to the deaths of dozens of civilians, adding that an investigation was necessary.
Neera Tanden, head of the Center for American Progress, and former Democratic National Committee chairman Howard Dean both said the Hawaii Democrat should be ousted from office.
“This is a disgrace. Gabbard should not be in Congress,” Dean tweeted on April 8.
Tanden said: “People of Hawaii’s 2nd district – was it not enough for you that your rep met with a murderous dictator? Will this move you?”
Gabbard, who visited Syria and met with Assad in January, said President Donald Trump’s decision to launch airstrikes on Syria in retaliation for the chemical attack were “short-sighted and will lead to more dead civilians, more refugees, the strengthening of Al Qaida and other terrorists, and a possible nuclear war between the United States and Russia.”
The Hawaii Democrat was in Syria for what she called a “fact-finding mission.” She did not inform party leadership of the visit. After meeting with Assad, she characterized his entire opposition as “terrorists.”
The U.S. missile strikes on a Syrian airbase received broad bipartisan support, with both House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer backing Trump’s decision.
Gabbard responded to Tanden and Dean’s criticism in a tweet on April 10: “Those who’ve declared Trump a habitual liar now vilify those refusing to blindly follow him into another regime change war. Hypocrisy.”