Top Dems Attack Gabbard After She Fails to Blame Assad for Gas Attack

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, (D., Hawaii) / AP
April 10, 2017

Top Democrats are calling for the replacement of Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D., Hawaii) after she refused on Friday to blame Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad for the chemical weapons attack in Syria that killed at least 100 Syrian civilians last week.

Gabbard said during an interview with CNN's Wolf Blitzer on Friday that she was "skeptical" Assad was responsible for the chemical weapons attack on Syrian citizens, CNN reported.  Gabbard said the U.S. should not be "sending American tax payer dollars on these failed regime change wars."

Gabbard's comments received instant back fire. Neera Tanden, a close confidante of Hillary Clinton and president of the Center for American Progress, took to Twitter on Friday to urge Hawaiians to vote Gabbard out of Congress, writing, "People of Hawaii's 2nd district - was it not enough for you that your rep met with a murderous dictator? Will this move you?"

Former Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean also castigated Gabbard on Twitter Saturday, calling the Hawaii representative's comments "a disgrace," and that she "should not be in Congress." Dean also compared Gabbard to President Donald Trump, writing, "she sounds like Trump making excuses."

Gabbard was also unwilling to blame Assad for the 400,000 deaths in during Syria's civil war, instead saying, "there are a number of ways that you can point the finger, Wolf. I am interested in finding the solution." Gabbard further told Blitzer that she was worried about a possible nuclear war with Russia.

On Thursday, Gabbard published a press release insisting that an investigation into who was responsible for the attack was still needed.

Gabbard previously attracted controversy after traveling to Syria in January. The official purpose of Gabbard's trip was to, "hear firsthand the impact of the war in Syria directly from the Syrian people." In the interview with Blitzer, she said her purpose was, "furthering the cause of peace."

But Gabbard then announced that she had met with President Assad during her trip. Gabbard is the first U.S. lawmaker to meet with Assad, who has previously been dubbed a war criminal by the U.S. government.

Gabbard's visit to Syria was met with silence by Congressional Democrats at the time.