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“The View’s” segment with 2020 Democratic presidential hopeful Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) erupted into fireworks Wednesday when Gabbard confronted co-host Joy Behar over Behar’s suggestion that Gabbard is a “traitor” and a Russian plant.
Gabbard returned to “The View’s” table on Wednesday after a rough first appearance earlier in the year, when co-host Meghan McCain brought up Gabbard’s friendly relationship with Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad, but this time, Gabbard came prepared for a fight — but with McCain’s left-leaning co-host, Behar.
In the show’s “hot topic” segment on October 21, Behar and co-host Sunny Hostin doubled down on Hillary Clinton’s recent claims that Gabbard is a Russian sleeper agent within Democratic ranks, poised to disrupt the 2020 presidential election by launching a third party bid that will ultimately hand the election to Republicans.
Hostin called Gabbard a “Trojan horse.” Behar chimed in, calling Gabbard a “useful idiot.”
When she returned to “The View” stage on Wednesday, Gabbard came loaded for bear, confronting Behar over her claims and denying that she’s a “traitor.”
“I want to start with something that I think is also important about facts because recently on your show here — some if you have accused me of being a traitor to my country, a Russian asset, a Trojan horse or…” Gabbard began, triggering Behar to interrupt.
“We haven’t accused you,” Joy Behar chimed in, clearly trying to forestall a confrontation.
“‘Useful idiot’ I think is the term that you used,” Gabbard snapped.
“I know Hillary Clinton thinks you’re a witting asset,” Behar said. “You might be unwitting. Not that that means you’re stupid, but people can be used,” Behar retorted, implying that Gabbard couldn’t think about the situation for herself.
“Let me start with how offensive it is to say that I am a witting or unwitting asset of a foreign country,” Gabbard said. “This is a country that I’m willing to lay my life down for. If you are saying it’s not deliberately, then you are implying that I am too stupid and naïve and lack the intelligence to know what I am doing. That’s extremely offensive to me and every woman of color.”
“I want to let your viewers know exactly who I am,” Gabbard continued. “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.”
Behar also accused Gabbard of participating in “propaganda” and promoting “white nationalism” by going on Fox News.
“Well, I guess we’re getting a little bit far ahead of ourselves, but Franklin Graham finds uh-you refreshing,” Behar shot back at Gabbard. “He doesn’t find me refreshing. The white nationalist leader says he can vote for you. You were on ‘Tucker Carlson’ at least ten times. Why didn’t you go on Chris Wallace?”
“You raised a second issue about why I go on Fox News,” Gabbard responded. “I go on Tucker Carlson, go on Bret Baier, go on Sean Hannity, go on MSNBC, go on CNN. I am here to speak to every single American in this country about the unifying leadership that I want to bring as president, not just speak to those who agree with me, but to speak to those who may disagree.”
“This is why I’m here,” Gabbard finished. “Because you and other people continue to spread these innuendos that have nothing to do with who I am.”
The segment appeared to leave Behar speechless, but unsatisfied. Gabbard seemed pleased with the performance.
Since Clinton made her comments on David Plouffe’s podcast, Gabbard has shot up in the rankings among 2020 Democratic presidential hopefuls and is now solidly in the second tier.