Democratic candidate for president and establishment-punching bag Tulsi Gabbard is taking heat on Twitter for daring to suggest that the Russiagate scandal could be pushing the US and Russia toward a dangerous new Cold War.
Gabbard tweeted that “short-sighted” politicians and media pundits who spend their time accusing Donald Trump of being in cahoots with Russia were helping bring about a new arms race because the accusations have led Trump to do“everything he can to prove he’s not [Russian President Vladimir] Putin’s puppet — even if it brings us closer to nuclear war.”
In a sane world, journalists, pundits and even Gabbard’s fellow Democrats all understood exactly what she meant and took her point on board. Except, this is Twitter we’re talking about, so of course, she was eviscerated.
One of the first to pop in with a response was former CIA agent John Sipher who accused the Hawaii congresswoman of helping Russia and “playing their game.” Sipher himself once had his own moment of Twitter fame, back when he tweeted the classic question: “How can one not be a Russophobe?
Some media folk got in on the action, too. CNN National Security analyst Susan Hennessey bravely stepped up with the bold take that Gabbard’s call for calm and better relations was “absurd.”
Washington Post columnist and fellow CNN analyst Josh Rogin accused Gabbard of blaming only Democrats and journalists for bad relations with Russia, while Bloomberg columnist Eli Lake had an interesting spin on things, suggesting Trump was playing “seven dimensional collusion.”
Then there were those that questioned Gabbard’s status as a Democrat, because she “doesn’t sound like” one. Presumably, in the age of Russiagate, Democrats are all supposed to be advocating for nuclear war?
Some were interested in the candidate’s contact with Russian nationals, asking the all-important questions like, how many Russians has she met on her trips abroad — and crucially, how many does she “still maintain contact” with today?
Some tweeters did take Gabbard’s side, however. Journalist Glenn Greenwald took aim at the likes of Hennessey who“mock” those who want to avoid heightening tensions with Russia as “treasonous weaklings.”
Independent journalist Caitlin Johnstone tweeted that the negative reaction to Gabbard’s tweet was a good example of how “narrative supersedes fact” and that while it was “undeniable” that Trump has escalated Russia tensions, pundits and Democrats who cling to the collusion story are still unwilling to believe it.
In an ironic twist, Trump himself retweeted a comment which seemed to be in support of Gabbard’s point, suggesting that Russiagate was designed to “bait” the US into taking a tougher line against Russia and created “a more dangerous world as a consequence.”