“I’ve been consistent in saying that I believe that impeachment at this juncture would be terribly divisive for the country at a time when we are already extremely divided,” Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii) told “Fox & Friends” on Tuesday morning.
“The hyper-partisanship is one of the main things that is driving our country apart,” she added. “I think it’s important to defeat Donald Trump. That’s why I’m running for president. But I think it’s the American people who need to make their voices heard in making that decision.”
The Democrat — still clinging to a 2020 candidacy for the Democratic nomination — made her comments as some centrist Democrats ratchet up the conversation in Washington about the possible impeachment of President Donald Trump in light of a whistleblower controversy involving a call Trump made to the Ukraine president connected to corruption in that country.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) is now even planning to huddle with other House Democrats on the matter on Tuesday afternoon.
“I know you’ve been very critical of Saudi Arabia and our alliance with them,” host Brian Kilmeade said to Gabbard, switching topics. “And yesterday, Britain, France, and Germany all joined the U.S. in blaming Iran for the attacks on Saudi Arabia. Do you believe, since Saudi Arabia has been a longtime ally, that America has a role in somehow making them pay for that type of heinous act?”
“No. I think we’ve got to understand clearly the situation that exists,” Gabbard replied. “First of all, the United States has no treaty alliance or security agreement with Saudi Arabia. So the United States responding on behalf of Saudi Arabia would really be unprecedented. Second, we’ve got to understand that Iran is retaliating, that this situation didn’t just come out of nowhere. These crippling sanctions have really crippled Iran’s economy and so this response was because they’re not able to sell their oil on the market.”
“The danger of continuing this tit-for-tat, this cycle of mutual retaliation — where does it end?” she added.
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“It ends in an all-out inferno across Iran, the Middle East, costing us American lives, costing American taxpayers dollars,” she also said.
She said she believes America needs to stay focused on “what’s in the best interest of the American people — and our national security. And I think it’s important that we keep that at the forefront.”
Gabbard also addressed the Democratic National Committee’s new debate rules. “You need donations from at least 165,000 separate donors, 600 unique donors in 20 states,” said Kilmeade, in order to qualify for the forthcoming debates. She also needs polling of “3 percent in at least four approved national or early state polls or 5 percent in two early state polls, whether it’s New Hampshire, South Carolina, or Iowa or Nevada,” he added. “Have you hit this criteria or are you close?”
“We have far surpassed the grassroots donor requirement weeks ago, both the previous requirement as well as this new one that’s been announced,” she answered.
“It’s the polling requirements that have really been kind of arbitrary about which polls they — the DNC — recognize as credible, which ones they don’t,” she added. “This is the problem, [and] not just for me and my campaign, but really the problem is for voters, who are seeing a lack of transparency, therefore a lack of trust in the process, and are questioning, ‘Is this really working for us? Or is the DNC just trying to be these gatekeepers in Washington dictating to voters in the early states, especially like Iowa and New Hampshire, who they are allowed to choose from to be our Democratic nominee?’ That’s the problem,” she said.
The fourth Democratic primary debate will take place in Ohio on October 15-16 — with the fifth primary debate following in November.
See some more info and reaction below — and share your thoughts.
Tulsi Gabbard, a House member and 2020 candidate, holds the line against impeachment on Fox this a.m.: "I've been consistent in saying…Impeachment…would be terribly divisive for the country at a time when we are already extremely divided."https://t.co/60IdIqbsI1
— Alex Seitz-Wald (@aseitzwald) September 24, 2019
This article has been updated.