Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) came out on Sunday against her party’s growing calls to impeach President Donald Trump.
“Congress is coming back this week and the House Judiciary Committee is planning on voting on an expanded impeachment inquiry. Do you support this?” Host Greta Van Susteren asked during the premier episode of her new show “Full Court Press.”
“I don’t,” Gabbard replied. “You know, I think it’s important for us to think about what is in the best interest of the country and the American people, and continuing to pursue impeachment is something that I think will only further … tear our country apart.”
“Make no bones about it: We need to defeat Donald Trump,” she continued. “But, I think it’s important for our country’s sake and our future that the voters in this country are the ones who do that, and I believe we will.”
Gabbard now stands in the minority as more than half of the Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives are formally backing the opening of an impeachment inquiry into the president. One Republican, Rep. Justin Amash (R-MI) has also called to advance impeachment proceedings.
As of yet, Rep. Ben Ray Luján (D-NM) is the party’s highest-ranking member to voice support for the measure. Luján serves as the assistant speaker under Speaker of the House Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA).
Pelosi, a close ally of Luján, has been reluctant to embrace her caucus’ demands, even as the calls grow louder. Democrats largely gained the majority in the House after a wave of moderates were elected to purple districts during the 2018 midterm election cycle. With the 2020 election on the horizon, Pelosi fears that voters’ distaste for impeachment could put the majority back in the hands of Republicans.
In April, the House voted to kill a measure seeking to impeach Trump by a margin of 332-95. It was the first vote on such a measure since Democrats won over the House.
Gabbard’s remarks, however, come as she’s seemingly fighting in her own battle against the Democratic Party establishment. The presidential hopeful criticized the Democratic National Committee (DNC) in August after she failed to qualify for the upcoming primary debate.
In order to qualify, candidates must have raised campaign donations from at least 130,000 unique donors and received at least 2% of the vote in four or more DNC-approved polls. While Gabbard was quick to meet the fundraising threshold, she fell two polls short of qualifying.
Gabbard and her campaign took issue with the polls that the DNC approved and subsequently slammed the organization for lacking transparency and fairness.
“The Gabbard campaign is calling on the DNC to hold true to their promise and make adjustments to the process now to ensure transparency and fairness,” the campaign wrote in a statement to the DNC. “Crucial decisions on debate qualifications that impact the right of the American people to have the opportunity to participate fully in the Democratic process should not be made in secret by party bosses.”
The DNC ultimately refused to adjust their polling benchmarks and allow Gabbard to participate.