Tulsi Gabbard slams CNN, New York Times during debate for 'despicable' 'smears' over Syria, Russia

The New York Times and CNN may have been moderating the Democrats' 2020 primary debate Tuesday night, but that didn't stop Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii, from accusing them of "smearing" her reputation.

"The New York Times and CNN have also smeared veterans like myself for calling for an end to this regime-change war," she said, apparently gesturing toward the moderators. She had been asked about Syria, where President Trump recently ordered the withdrawal of U.S. troops from the country's north.

She added: "Just two days ago, The New York Times put out an article saying that I'm a Russian asset and an Assad apologist and all these different smears. This morning, a CNN commentator said on national television that I'm an asset of Russia -- completely despicable."

Gabbard appeared to refer to CNN analyst Bakari Sellers' comments describing the congresswoman as a "puppet for the Russian government."

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The Hawaii congresswoman also seemed to blame media figures for Kurdish deaths following Trump's withdrawal from the region.

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"Donald Trump has the blood of the Kurds on his hand[s], but so do many of the politicians in our country from both parties who have supported this ongoing regime-change war in Syria that started in 2011, along with many in the mainstream media who have been championing and cheerleading this regime-change war," she said.

This wasn't the first time Gabbard took bold shots at fellow Democrats. While on stage with Kamala Harris this past July, Gabbard ripped into the California senator's record as a prosecutor.

"Senator Harris says she's proud of her record as a prosecutor and that she'll be a prosecutor president, but I'm deeply concerned about this record," Gabbard said.

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"There are too many examples to cite, but she put over 1,500 people in jail for marijuana violations and then laughed about it when she was asked if she ever smoked marijuana."

Harris responded, "I am proud of making a decision to not just give fancy speeches or be in a legislative body and give speeches on the floor but actually doing the work, of being in the position to use the power that I had to reform a system that is badly in need of reform. That is why we created initiatives that were about re-entering former offenders and getting them counseling. It’s why, and because I know the criminal justice system is so broken, it is why I’m an advocate for what we need to do to not only decriminalize but legalize marijuana in the United States."