2020 candidate rejects State Department assessment on Iranian attack on Saudis

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Gabbard says Trump wants to “push our country into war with Iran”

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CNN Democratic Presidential Debate Detroit, Michigan 2019 Businessman Andrew Yang Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard Washington Gov. Jay Inslee

Democratic presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard refused to accept findings by the United States and Saudi Arabia that Iran was responsible for the recent attack on Saudi oil facilities.

In an interview with The Hill, the Hawaii congresswoman said the assessment, announced by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, was “yet the latest move by this administration to push our country into war with Iran.”

Gabbard declined to say whether she believes the Iranian regime was responsible for the attack: “there needs to be evidence.” She also attacked President Donald Trump for what she labeled as the president’s willingness to use the United States military as mercenaries for Saudi Arabia. “Trump is ready to offer up our military to use as the Saudi kingdom sees fit,” said Gabbard, who previously tweeted that Trump was prostituting the American military to Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Arabia presented evidence of Iranian involvement in the attack during a press conference earlier on Wednesday, in which Pompeo labeled it “an act of war” by Iran against Saudi Arabia. Houthi rebels in Yemen, who are backed by the Iranian regime in that country’s civil war, had previously claimed responsibility. Intelligence analysts, however, have insisted that the Houthis do not have the capability to carry out such an attack.

Although Trump has tweeted about new sanctions against Iran, he was vague about military action when speaking to reporters in Los Angeles on Wednesday. “There are many options,” said Trump. “There’s the ultimate option and there are options a lot less than that.”Gabbard has long faced criticism for her friendly rhetoric towards Syrian dictator and Iranian proxy Bashar al-Assad. She made a surprise visit to Damascus in 2017 and described regime opponents as “terrorists.” Gabbard’s continued defense of the Assad regime led to a charge  from Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA) during the August presidential debate that the Hawaii congresswoman was an “Assad apologist.” Gabbard has since said Assad is a “brutal dictator.”

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