Gabbard: Trump "Has Gone To War With Iran, That's The Reality Of The Situation" | Video | RealClearPolitics

Gabbard: Trump "Has Gone To War With Iran, That's The Reality Of The Situation"


Democratic presidential candidate Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) reacts to the Soleimani airstrike Friday on FOX News.

HEMMER: A couple issues. Let's get to them right now.

Let's go to sound bite number two, guys, from the -- from the president last night. Let's talk about Iran, the taking out of Soleimani. Here's what he said last night, in part, in Toledo.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: They're all trying to say, how dare you to take him out that way! You should get permission from Congress. You should come in and tell us what you want to do. You should come in and tell us so that we can call up the fake news that's back there and we can leak it.


HEMMER: So that from last night. You hear the reaction there in northwestern Ohio.
You say Iran is now closer to a nuclear weapon than ever before. You say it's opening the door to the resurgence of ISIS and al-Qaeda. Defend that.

GABBARD: Well, let's, first of all, address the issue that the Constitution, written by our founders, intentionally place the responsibility of deciding whether or not to declare war within the hands of Congress. So abiding by the Constitution means the president needs to come to Congress and make that argument, make that pitch.

If he wants to go to war with Iran, then come to Congress and say why he feels that's important for our national security. That did not happen.

HEMMER: But, to be clear, he's -- he hasn't suggested that he wants to go to war with Iran.

GABBARD: Well, he has gone to war with Iran. That's the reality of the situation.

And how the decision that President Trump made -- as you mention, it undermined our national security in two ways. Iran is no longer complying with any of the restrictions of the Iran nuclear agreement, and they are speeding closer and closer to developing nuclear weapons capabilities, which increases the threat to the United States and to the world.

Number two, our troops in Iraq, their whole purpose and mission for being there has been to work with partners, to prevent a resurgence of ISIS and al-Qaeda.

Our U.S. commander in Iraq has said, they can no longer do that mission. They now have to completely redirect their energy on their efforts towards defending against Iranian forces and Iranian-backed Shia militias, leaving the door wide open for these terrorists to reconstitute and mount their strengths.

HEMMER: You -- perhaps you -- perhaps you are right about that. Perhaps you're right about that. Let's hope for the sake of the country and the world that's not the case.

But there are many others who are arguing exactly the opposite. They say more than ever Iran is open to negotiations.

Do you buy that?

GABBARD: Based on what? Every single step this administration has taken with their maximum pressure campaign has shown that it is further and further derailing any kind of diplomatic or peaceful opportunity for negotiations, to bring Iran back to the table.

Every single day that Iran is not abiding by this nuclear agreement, every single day that negotiations are not occurring, is a day that they are getting closer to developing a nuclear weapon. Again, serious, serious threat posed to the American people in the world.

HEMMER: And what the administration argues, that they're isolating them in ways that they have not been before. Let's see, in the end, how this unfolds. A lot of this happens over days and weeks, and sometimes months or even years. I think you would even agree to that.

Pete Buttigieg shot out a tweet with regards to this airline that was shot out of the sky in Ukraine. He said, "Innocent civilians are now dead because they were caught in the middle of an unnecessary and unwanted military tit for tat. My thoughts are with the families and loved ones of all the 176 souls lost aboard this flight."

He's come under a lot of heat by a lot of different people. Ted Cruz says you're wrong; they were shot down by Iran.

What do you make of the comment that he said there?

GABBARD: I think this is a very, very unfortunate incident that's affected so many people and so many families. But this is one of these consequences of this escalation and this state of war that we are in.
Having foresight and being able to look at what the consequences are of going to war with Iran, I think, is a serious thing and a responsibility of the present commander-in-chief --

HEMMER: Are you --

GABBARD: That he and his administration have not looked at.

HEMMER: Do I read that -- are you greeting with Buttigieg on that (ph) comment, based on that answer there?

GABBARD: My point is that this is a very unfortunate consequence of this escalation of war.

HEMMER: But it was Iran who owned the anti-aircraft missiles. It was their system that went off when this airline left its airspace.


GABBARD: Are you implying that they did this intentionally?

HEMMER: No, I did not say that at all.


HEMMER: The inference here is that Iran is responsible for this, and not the tit for tat.

GABBARD: This -- this --

HEMMER: Last comment on that.

GABBARD: No, no, this -- this is -- this is the consequence of this escalation of war that we need -- that further points to why we need to de-escalate these tensions now. And I urge President Trump to do so, to get back to the negotiating table and make sure that this war no longer continues to move forward.

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