Gabbard says calling Trump a Putin puppet is dangerous & stupid, Twitter calls her a Putin puppet
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.
Short-sighted politicians & media pundits who've spent last 2 years accusing Trump as a Putin puppet have brought us the expensive new Cold War & arms race. How? Because Trump now does everything he can to prove he’s not Putin’s puppet—even if it brings us closer to nuclear war.— Tulsi Gabbard (@TulsiGabbard) March 16, 2019
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?”
Uh, so Russia plays no role in what's happening? You are playing their game. It's not helpful.— John Sipher (@john_sipher) March 17, 2019
For the crime of suggesting perhaps Trump isn’t an agent of Moscow, Gabbard herself was, naturally, accused of being “compromised” by the Kremlin and a Russian “asset.”
It is almost as though Tulsi Gabbard herself is Kremlin compromised.🤔— ᴛʀᴜᴛʜ ᴡʀɪᴛᴇʀ (@WritesTruths) March 17, 2019
Russian assets say what?— Ryan (but people call me Bryan) (@realUnfamous) March 17, 2019
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.”
Gabbard staking out a bold “Trump is *too* tough on Putin” lane in the Democratic primary. As predictable as it is absurd. https://t.co/M33rOtMiq6— Susan Hennessey (@Susan_Hennessey) March 17, 2019
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.”
that’s exactly what a Putin puppet do. It’s seven dimensional collusion. https://t.co/f64w8ng9tV— Eli Lake (@EliLake) March 18, 2019
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?
That logic is about as twisted as a pretzel. Are you a democrat?!? You sure don’t sound like one...— Martina Navratilova (@Martina) March 18, 2019
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?
How many Russians did you meet with when you went to Syria, Tulsi? How many do you still maintain contact with? https://t.co/S91RtfMTLC— Michael (@HedgerowWizard) March 17, 2019
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.”
It's not surprising that former members of the NSA and intelligence community - like the poster below - mock those who want better relations with Moscow as treasonous weaklings. That's what they've always done. What's most amazing is that this is now standard liberal dogma: https://t.co/v3msQkSVMX— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) March 18, 2019
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.
The responses to this obviously true statement are a pretty good example of how narrative supersedes fact in mainstream consciousness. The undeniable fact that Trump has escalated tensions with Russia doesn't fit the Russiagate narrative, so people reflexively believe it's a lie. https://t.co/MT8aC5o9Mw— Caitlin Johnstone ⏳ (@caitoz) March 18, 2019
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.”
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