Tulsi Gabbard: Impeachment of Trump Would Be "Terribly Divisive" For Country


Democratic presidential candidate Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) said impeaching President Trump in the House would "further tear apart" an already divided country in an interview with CNN's Brooke Baldwin.

BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN HOST: Thank you for coming by. So let's get straight to the news. So we're hearing that Speaker Pelosi is announcing a formal impeachment hearing in the coming hours. We know Trump plans to release this full transcript, he says unredacted transcript with his call with the Ukrainian President. Where do you stand on impeachment right this very moment?

REP. TULSI GABBARD (D-HI), DEM PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Look, my position remains the same. I think that impeachment would be terribly divisive for our already very divided country.

BALDWIN: Even an impeachment inquiry, looking into it?

GABBARD: I think Congress needs to exercise oversight over the information that's been leaked. I think it's important that this transcript is released to Congress so that Congress can do its job. But I think the question of impeachment really would further tear apart an already divided country. I think it's important that Donald Trump is defeated. I believe I can defeat him in 2020. But it's the voters who need to make that choice unequivocally.

BALDWIN: But what do you make of this -- I talked to one of them, seven freshmen Democrats who have come out with national security backgrounds. You know about that as a veteran. They're pointing to national security as in this is a national security concern for the reasoning to now shift in the last 24 hours for an impeachment inquiry. Tell me why they're wrong.

GABBARD: I think that these issues that are being raised are deeply concerning. I think it's important that we not deal in hypotheticals and actually look at this transcript. I think it's important that it is released and make decisions based on the facts. But I think also look at the pragmatic next steps of what will follow. And my concern is for our country. United we stand, divided we fall. It's important that Donald Trump is voted out of office by the American people. And I feel very strongly about that.

BALDWIN: But what if when they look at the transcript there is no mention of money, right? The allegations that Trump withheld all these millions of dollars in exchange for, you know, for personal gain, if there is no quid pro quo in the transcript?

GABBARD: Well, that's again, that's why I think it's important that we actually look at --

BALDWIN: But once they do and it doesn't exist?

GABBARD: Well, this is the problem. If the motivation is political and the evidence is not there for those who are calling for impeachment to continue to pursue that, that just proves how divisive this will be. Because then whether it's Donald Trump's supporters or Republicans, moderates, independents, they will say, OK, gosh guys, come on, this is politics as usual. You couldn't beat Trump in 2016. Now you're trying to do it through Congress. This is why it's so important the American people make this decision that we as Democratic candidates for president make our case and defeat Donald Trump through the ballot box.

If some of my colleagues are running for President don't think they can do that, then maybe they shouldn't be running. But this is the challenge and opportunity that we have before us.

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