Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard accused Hillary Clinton of “seeking to smear my reputation” and believes her defamation lawsuit against her will send a powerful message in support of all U.S. service members.
The Hawaii Democrat and 2020 presidential candidate told Fox News host Tucker Carlson that “no one can try to defame” those who put their life on the line for this country, calling out Clinton for “implying that I’m a traitor.”
(Video: Fox News)
The four-term Democratic congresswoman filed the lawsuit against the failed Democratic presidential nominee this week, seeking “$50 million – and counting” in damages, accusing Clinton of “deliberately and maliciously” making false statements about her to “derail” her 2020 campaign.
The statements stemmed from an interview Clinton had last year in which she said that an unnamed Democratic 2020 contender was “the favorite of the Russians” and had suggested that Republicans were “grooming” a Democratic presidential candidate for a third-party bid.
Tulsi Gabbard sues Hillary Rodham Clinton for defamation https://t.co/wAN2oXRKSA
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) January 22, 2020
“You sued Hillary Clinton. No one saw that coming. Why are you doing it?” Carlson asked the Democrat on “Tucker Carlson Tonight” Thursday.
“This is about my life,” Gabbard replied.
“This is my life that we’re talking about here,” she added. “For me as a soldier, as every service member does, I took an oath of loyalty to our country, the country that I love. Willing to put my life on the line for our country, deploying twice to the Middle East to do so, still serving in uniform in the Army National Guard today for almost 17 years. The essence of this service, this love of country is who I am.”
The congresswoman contended that Clinton’s remarks affected who she is at her core.
“So when you have someone as powerful as Hillary Clinton seeking to smear my reputation, essentially implying that I’m a traitor to the country that I love, what she essentially is doing is taking my life away,” she told Carlson. “So what this lawsuit is about is actually valuing the honor and the loyalty and integrity that every one of our service members embodies and saying that no one can try to defame them. We will not allow that to go unchecked.”
Noting that Clinton is supposedly the “candidate of female empowerment,” the Fox News host asked Gabbard why she thought she would have been singled out.
“That’s not the Hillary they want us to think she is,” he said.
“I think it was a very clear and intentional message that if you dare to cross Hillary Clinton or her powerful allies that you too will see your reputation smeared. You too will get the kind of false and baseless accusations that we’ve seen from Hillary towards me. It’s an attempt to silence anyone who dares to cross her.”
Clinton did not name Gabbard specifically in her comments during the October interview and, at the time, the Democratic women running for president besides Gabbard included Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, California Sen. Kamala Harris, Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota and author Marianne Williamson.
Gabbard added that there has been no “official or unofficial response” from Clinton to the lawsuit so far as Carlson went on to ask if she thought the former secretary of state would attempt to run for president again.
“I have no idea,” the Hawaii lawmaker responded, saying she was going to focus on her 2020 campaign.
“People are shocked you sued her,” Carlson remarked.
“I didn’t find it shocking. She accused you of being groomed by a foreign power to subvert this country,” he added. “We, of course, are rooting for you.”
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