Harris accuses Gabbard of failing to acknowledge al-Assad as a war criminal

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Democratic presidential candidate Rep. Tulsi Gabbard was accused of being an apologist for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad by a fellow candidate during the Democratic debate on Wednesday night.

Sen. Kamala Harris of California said that Gabbard “fails to call a war criminal by what he is – a war criminal,” in reference to Gabbard’s refusal to explicitly refer to al-Assad as a war criminal.

Gabbard has been accused of being sympathetic to al-Assad, who she met on a “fact finding mission” in 2017.

“Originally, I had no intention of meeting with Assad, but when given the opportunity, I felt it was important to take it,” Gabbard said previously after her trip became public.

Harris was asked to respond to Gabbard’s criticism of the “Bush-Clinton-Trump foreign policy doctrine of regime change wars.” Gabbard has been a fierce critic of US foreign policy and promised to “end this foreign policy.”

Harris also criticized Gabbard’s appearances on Fox News, which is seen as pro-Republican, and her criticism of former President Barack Obama during his administration.

In response, Gabbard said: “What Senator Harris is doing is unfortunately continuing to traffic in lies and smears and innuendos because she cannot challenge the substance of the argument that I am making.”

Gabbard, who represents Hawaii in Congress, is an Iraq war veteran. She is currently polling at around one percent in the race to lead the Democratic party against US President Donald Trump in the 2020 election.

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