Politics

‘She Is Her Own Person’: Beto O’Rourke Defends Tulsi Gabbard Against Claims She’s A ‘Russian Asset’

Virginia Kruta Associate Editor

Democratic presidential hopeful Beto O’Rourke defended Democratic Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard over claims that she was “being groomed” by the Russians for a third party run.

O’Rourke said Saturday that Gabbard was “her own person,” pointing out her service to the country and saying that “those facts speak for themselves.” (RELATED: Dallas Reporter Compares Trump Crowd To Beto’s Counter-Rally — It’s Not Even Close)

WATCH:

O’Rourke was responding to claims from former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who argued that Gabbard was “being groomed” by the Russians for a third-party run that could potentially undermine the eventual Democratic nominee.

“That’s not correct. Tulsi is not being groomed by anyone. She’s her own person. Obviously has served this country, continues to serve this country in uniform, in Congress, as a candidate for the presidency so I think those facts speak for themselves,” O’Rourke explained.

South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg went a different way, refusing to give a clear answer on whether or not Gabbard was “a Russian asset” when he appeared on Sunday’s “State of the Union” with Jake Tapper. “I don’t know what the basis is for that. But I consider her to be a competitor. I respect her service and have very different views than she does on foreign policy and I would prefer to have that argument in terms of debates and going forward,” he said.