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Tulsi Gabbard: Trump response to Saudi oil strikes a ‘disgrace’


>>Neil: ALL RIGHT. THE PRESIDENT HAS ALREADY ORDERED INCREASED SANCTIONS FOLLOWING THAT ATTACK THAT THE IRANIANS WERE NOW BEHIND OR OUR INTELLIGENCE SAYS THAT ON SAUDI ARABIA. DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENT CHAPEL CANDIDATE TULSI GABBARD WONDERS IF THE PRESIDENT IS DOING OUR COUNTRY’S BIDDING OR SAUDI ARABIA’S. IT’S HARD TO SAY. CONGRESSMAN, VERY GOOD TO HAVE YOU.>>THANKS, NEIL. GOOD TO SEE YOU.>>Neil: WHAT SURPRISED FOLKS IS THE DEGREE TO WHICH YOU HAMMERED THAT CHARGE OF THE PRESIDENT THAT SAID YOU’RE NOT OUR PIMP. WHAT DID YOU MEAN BY THAT?>>WELL, LET’S JUST MAKE SURE THAT WE’RE ON THE SAME PAGE HERE AND RECOGNIZE THE CONTEXT. WHAT I WAS RESPONDING TO THAT THE PRESIDENT TWEETED OUT AND I WANT TO READ YOU WHAT HE SAID IN THAT TWEET SAYING THAT “WE’RE WAITING TO HEAR FROM THE KINGDOM AS TO WHO THEY BELIEVE WAS THE CAUSE OF THIS ATTACK AND UNDER WHAT TERMS WE WOULD PROCEED.” LOOK, NEIL, I’M A SOLDIER. I TOOK AN OATH AS A SOLDIER AND A MEMBER OF CONGRESS TO SUPPORT AND DEFEND OUR CONSTITUTION, TO SERVE THE AMERICAN PEOPLE. AND IT’S A HUGE DISGRACE TO HEAR OUR COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF BASICALLY PUT US IN A POSITION, PUT US, THE AMERICAN PEOPLE, OUR MEN AND WOMEN IN UNIFORM, OUR MILITARY ASSETS IN A POSITION WHERE WE’RE SERVANTS OF THE SAUDI KINGDOM. STANDING BY AND AWAITING THEIR ORDERS ON HOW WE SHOULD PROCEED.>>Neil: WAS HE SAYING THAT, CONGRESS WOMAN, AS MUCH AS THAT THEY’RE LOOKING INTO THIS. THEY’RE NOT MARCHING ORDERS HERE. THEY’RE TRYING TO ASCERTAIN WHO WAS BEHIND THAT ATTACK AND THAT IS WHAT I THINK HE WAS WAITING ON.>>WELL, IF TRUMP DIDN’T MEAN WHAT HE SAID WHEN HE TWEETED THAT OUT, THAT WE’VE GOT TO SEE UNDER WHAT TERMS WE WOULD PROCEED, THEN HE NEEDS TO CLARIFY WHAT HE SAID AND ACTUALLY SAY WHAT HE MEANT. HE’S THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES. HE’S THE COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF OF THE STRONGEST MILITARY IN THE WORLD. HE NEEDS TO BE CLEAR. THIS WAS SAID A COUPLE DAYS AGO, HE’S NOT ISSUED ANY KIND OF CLARIFICATION. ALL WE CAN PRESUME IS HE SAID WHAT HE MEANT IN THAT TWEET.>>Neil: ALL RIGHT. HE’S NOT RESPONDED TO YOUR ALLEGATIONS OR EVEN TWEETED A RESPONSE. BUT WHAT YOU DID SAID, I NEVER ENGAGE IN HATEFUL RHETORIC AGAINST YOU OR YOUR FAMILY, NEVER WILL BUT YOU’RE OFFERING OUR MILITARY ASSETS TO THE DICTATOR OF SAUDI ARABIA. THE QUESTION I HAD FOR YOU, CONGRESSWOMAN, IF YOU BECOME PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES AND SAUDI ARABIA WERE ATTACKED LIKE IT WAS HERE AND APPARENTLY BY IRAN, WOULD YOU NOT INTERVENE?>>I WOULD DO WHAT IS IN THE BEST INTEREST OF OUR COUNTRY. AS A SOLDIER I SEE THESE THINGS VERY CLEARLY, SEEING WHAT IS OUR GOAL, WHAT IS OUR OBJECTIVE. WITH IRAN, WE HAVE TWO PRIMARY OBJECTIVES. NUMBER 1, TO MAKE SURE THAT THEY’RE NO LONGER MOVING FORWARD OF BUILDING THEIR NUCLEAR CAPABILITY AS THEY CURRENTLY ARE. NUMBER 2, TO PREVENT THIS ALL-OUT SHOOTING WAR WITH IRAN THAT IT APPEARS WE’RE HEADING TOWARDS, THIS IS IMPORTANT FOR TWO REASONS. NUMBER 1, WE HAVE TO KEEP THE AMERICAN PEOPLE SAFE. KEEP THAT AT THE FOREFRONT. WE CAN ACCOMPLISH THESE OBJECTIVES BY UNDERSTANDING AND REALIZING THAT THE CURRENT STRATEGY HAS FAILED. IT’S NOT HELPING US ACHIEVE THAT OBJECTIVE AND WE NEED TO REENTER THE IRAN NUCLEAR AGREEMENT AND GET RID OF THESE CRIPPLING ECONOMIC SANCTIONS THAT ARE CONTINUING TO ESCALATE THIS WAR AGAINST IRAN.>>Neil: WELL, IRAN HAS BEEN DOING THIS STUFF WITH OR WITHOUT SANCTIONS, WITH OR WITHOUT A DEAL. DOESN’T –>>THAT’S NOT TRUE.>>Neil: THEIR PROVOCATIVE BEHAVIOR –>>THE IRAN NUCLEAR DEAL WAS IN PLACE, IRAN WAS FOUND TO BE IN COMPLIANCE BY OUR OWN INTELLIGENCE AGENCIES AND OTHER COUNTRIES AGENCIES. THEY WERE COMPLYING WITH THE DEAL. THEY WERE NOT MOVING FORWARD TOWARD BUILDING A NUCLEAR WEAPON. NOW IT’S IN THE TRASH, IRAN IS CONTINUING –>>Neil: THE NUCLEAR DEAL NOT WITHSTANDING, THEY’VE ALWAYS BEEN PROVOCATIVE. WHAT I WOULD ASK YOU, WOULD YOU AS PRESIDENT THEN IGNORE THAT PROVOCATION, DEAL OR NO DEAL, WOULD YOU WORK WITH THE SAUDIS? DO YOU LIKE THE SAUDIS MORE OR LESS THAN IRAN? WHAT?>>IT’S NOT ABOUT WHO YOU LIKE OR WHO YOU DON’T LIKE. IT’S ABOUT ONCE AGAIN FOCUSING ON OUR OBJECTIVE OF KEEPING THE AMERICAN PEOPLE SAFE. WHAT HAS JUST HAPPENED AND TRANSPIRED THE LAST FEW DAYS DIDN’T JUST POP UP OUT OF NOWHERE. WE CAN’T LOOK AT THIS IN ISOLATION. IT WAS KICKED OFF BY PRESIDENT TRUMP WALKING AWAY FROM AND THROWING THAT NUCLEAR DEAL IN THE TRASH, INCREASING — CRIPPLING ECONOMIC SANCTIONS THAT ARE HURTING THE PEOPLE OF IRAN MOST OF ALL, DESIGNATING THEIR MILITARY AS A TERRORIST ORGANIZATION, DEPLOYING MORE TROOPS TO THE REGION. A NUMBER OF THINGS THAT HAVE PUSHED US, THE WORLD, TO THIS POINT WHERE WE ARE TODAY.>>Neil: SO LET ME ASK YOU. DO YOU RECOGNIZE THE LEADER OF SAUDI ARABIA? A LOT OF SIGNALS POINT THAT HE WAS BEHIND THE KILLING OF “THE WASHINGTON POST” JOURNALIST A YEAR AGO. BUT HE’S STILL IN CHARGE. OTHERS HAVE SAID YOU CAN’T PICK AND CHOOSE YOUR LEADERS OF COUNTRIES YOU DON’T LIKE. IT IS WHAT IT IS. WOULD YOU TALK WITH HIM, DEAL WITH HIM ON AN ATTACK LIKE THIS, DO SOMETHING IN CONCERT WITH HIM?>>I THINK IT’S IMPORTANT UNDER THESE AND OTHER CIRCUMSTANCES TO BE READY AND TO HAVE THE WILLINGNESS TO TALK TO LEADERS OF OTHER COUNTRIES. YES, I WOULD MEET WITH THE LEADER OF SAUDI ARABIA AS I WOULD WITH THE LEADER OF IRAN TO DEESCALATE THESE TENSIONS AND SAYING WHAT IS THE BEST INTEREST OF THE UNITED STATES AND HOW CAN WE BEST ACCOMPLISH THAT OBJECTIVE, WHICH IS KEEPING THE AMERICAN PEOPLE SAFE. DOING WHAT IS IN THE BEST INTEREST OF OUR NATIONAL SECURITY. BY PURSUING THESE DIPLOMATIC MEASURES, WE HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO PREVENT THAT WORST CASE SCENARIO, WHICH IS AN ALL-OUT SHOOTING CONFLICT WAR THAT WOULD CAUSE A DEVASTATING COST TO THE AMERICAN PEOPLE, TO OUR TROOPS, COUNTLESS LIVES, TRILLIONS MORE DOLLARS. TO SPEAK OF THE IMPACT ON THE DEVASTATION THAT WOULD BE CAUSED AROUND THE REGION AND THE WORLD.>>Neil: ALL RIGHT. SO THE INTERPRETATION IS THAT YOU WANT TO BRING BACK THE IRAN DEAL. BUT IT GIVES A SIGNAL HERE THAT YOU’RE NO FAN OF THE SAUDI LEADERSHIP. I GET THAT. BUT MORE OF A FAN OF THE LEADERSHIP IN IRAN.>>NO, I’M A FAN OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. I’M A FAN OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE. AS PRESIDENT AND COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF, I WOULD PUT THEIR INTERESTS –>>Neil: IS IT IN OUR INTEREST FOR SAUDI ARABIA TO BE PROTECTED OR ITS KINGDOM TO BE PROTECTED OR DO YOU DRAW A DISTINCTION?>>LET ME TELL YOU WHAT IS NOT IN OUR INTERESTS. THIS ALLIANCE THAT HAS BEEN LONGSTANDING BETWEEN THE UNITED STATES AND SAUDI ARABIA IN SPITE OF THE FACT THAT THEY ARE DIRECTLY AND INDEPENDENT DIRECTLY SUPPORTING AL-QAEDA. WE JUST OBSERVED THE 18th ANNIVERSARY OF THAT TERRIBLE ATTACK ON OUR COUNTRY IN 2001. THEY’RE CONTINUING TO SPEND BILLIONS EVERY YEAR PROPAGATING THIS EXTREMIST IDEOLOGY THAT IS FUELLING THE GROWTH OF TERRORIST GROUPS LIKE AL-QUAIDA AND ISES AND OTHERS AROUND THE WORLD. THEY’RE DIRECTLY SUPPORTING THOSE THAT POSE A THREAT TO OUR COUNTRY AND TO THE UNITED STATES. THAT THREAT THAT WE NEED TO DEFEAT.>>Neil: IS THAT THREAT GREATER THAN IRAN?>>YES; IT IS.>>Neil: SAUDI ARABIA IS MORE OF A PROBLEM FOR US –>>IRAN DOES NOT POSE A DIRECT THREAT TO THE UNITED STATES. WE HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO MAKE SURE THAT WE PREVENT IRAN FROM CONTINUING TO MOVE FORWARD TOWARDS DEVELOPING A NUCLEAR WEAPON. THAT IS WHERE WE NEED TO BE FOCUSED. IF I WERE PRESIDENT, THAT’S WHAT I’D BE DOING, GETTING BACK INTO THAT NUCLEAR DEAL, GETTING RID OF THESE CRIPPLING ECONOMIC SANCTIONS AND BEING ABLE TO MAKE SURE THAT WE CAN MOVE FORWARD IN THE INTERESTS OF OUR NATIONAL SECURITY.>>Neil: SO A PRESIDENT GABBARD WOULD SEE SAUDI ARABIA AS A BIGGER THREAT TO OUR COUNTRY THAN IRAN.>>WHAT I WOULD LIKE TO SEE IS SAUDI ARABIA ENDING THEIR SUPPORT FOR AL-QUAIDA. TERRORIST GROUPS LIKE AL-QUAIDA.>>Neil: I’M SORRY. THAT’S NOT WHAT I ASKED.>>I KNOW. YOU’RE TURNING MY WORDS AROUND.>>Neil: NO, NO, NO. I WANT TO BE VERY CLEAR. YOU HAVE HIGHER OPINION OF IRAN THAN YOU DO SAUDI ARABIA.>>NO, THAT’S NOT WHAT I’M SAYING.>>Neil: EXPLAIN.>>I’M FOCUSED ON HOW WE CAN BEST KEEP THE AMERICAN PEOPLE SAFE. ON HOW WE CAN MAKE SURE THAT WE ARE — WE HAVE OUR NATIONAL SECURITY INTACT.>>Neil: THE SAUDIS ARE A BIGGER LET TO THAT SAFETY THAN IRAN? I WANT TO BE CLEAR.>>THE SAUDIS ARE DIRECTLY SUPPORTING THE VERY TERRORIST GROUP THAT ATTACKED US ON 9-11 AND CONTINUE TO POSE A THREAT TO THE AMERICAN PEOPLE TODAY.>>Neil: SO IF THE PRESIDENT WERE TO TAKE ACTION AGAINST IRAN WITH OR WITHOUT SAUDI INTELLIGENCE OR HELP, THAT WOULD BE A BAD MOVE IN YOUR EYES?>>THAT WOULD BE A VERY BAD MOVE. IT WOULD NOT SERVE THE INTERESTS OF THE UNITED STATES. IT WOULD COST THOUSANDS MORE OF MY BROTHERS AND SISTERS IN UNIFORM THEIR LIVES. IT WOULD COST US AS TAXPAYERS TRILLIONS — WOULD MAKE THE IRAQ WAR THAT I SERVED IN LOOK LIKE A PICNIC COMPARED TO THE COST AND THE CONSEQUENCE AND THE DEVASTATION THAT WOULD COME ABOUT AS A RESULT OF THAT WAR. TO SPEAK OF THE FACT THAT IT WOULD BE UNCONSTITUTIONAL GIVEN THE PRESIDENT WOULD DO THAT WITHOUT THAT AUTHORITY COMING

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