Trump Says He Has ‘Respect’ For Tulsi Gabbard After Voting ‘Present’ On Impeachment

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Henry Rodgers Chief National Correspondent
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President Donald Trump said he has “respect” for 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard after she voted “present” on the two impeachment articles against him, breaking with all of her Democratic colleagues.

“I give her respect. She didn’t vote the other day. I give her a lot of respect. Because she knew it was wrong. She took a pass,” Trump said during a speech Saturday at the Turning Point USA Student Action Summit in West Palm Beach, Florida, Fox News reported. Democratic Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard on Wednesday voted “present” during the vote to impeach Trump, after saying earlier in the week she would be in favor of censuring him.

“I am standing in the center and have decided to vote Present. I could not in good conscience vote against impeachment because I believe President Trump is guilty of wrongdoing. I also could not in good conscience vote for impeachment because removal of a sitting President must not be the culmination of a partisan process, fueled by tribal animosities that have so gravely divided our country,” Gabbard said in an emailed statement. (RELATED: Tulsi Gabbard Votes ‘Present’ At Impeachment Vote Against Trump)

(Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Gabbard announced Tuesday that she was still undecided on impeaching Trump and reportedly that she would vote to censure him. Reporters had been speculating all day on whether Gabbard would vote, as she was not seen on the House floor and was not responding to press inquiries. She was the only Democrat to vote “present.” (RELATED: Here Are The Three Democrats That Voted Against Impeachment)

“I’m taking this time for myself to be able to review everything that’s happened, all the information that’s been put forward,” Gabbard told a crowd Monday at Furman University in Greenville, S.C., according to ABC News. “And just all the factors that go into really trying to figure out what is the best action to take for our country. And for democracy. It’s not a simple or easy decision to make.”

This comes as a group of House Democrats were reportedly considering censuring Trump instead of impeaching him. Instead, Democrats voted on party lines except for three members, who voted “no.”