Tulsi Gabbard Says Wasserman Consulted No One Prior to Making Debate Decision

“The fact is, there was no communication or no consultation with the vice chairs and officers, of which I am one, so it’s unfortunate that she continues to say things that aren’t true.”

 

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii), vice-chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee, talks to NBC’s Andrea Mitchell about DNC chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz telling her not to come to the first Democratic presidential debate in Las Vegas.

“I was on your network, MSNBC, talking on Meet the Press Daily about how we do need more debates,” Gabbard said. “The same thing that I have been saying now for several weeks. And the very next day got a message saying that if I’m going to continue talking about that, that I shouldn’t go to the debate.”

“It’s not surprising to me that she is saying things that aren’t true,” Gabbard added.

Wasserman Schultz disputes this is the case, saying Gabbard “chose not to come because I guess she can’t.”

Andrea Mitchell asked Gabbard if she will stay at the DNC in her leadership position.

When Mitchell asserted “You just called her a liar for all intents and purposes,” Gabbard had no reaction and seemed to agree with that motion.

ANDREA MITCHELL: Congresswoman, what happened here? [Wasserman Schultz] says that it’s not the case that you were not told you couldn’t come, that she simply wanted you to stop discussing the debate structure and discuss the issues.

REP. TULSI GABBARD (D-HI): Good morning, Andrea. Aloha from Hawaii. I can’t say much more than to say that that’s just not true. I was on your network, MSNBC, talking on Meet the Press Daily about how we do need more debates. The same thing that I have been saying now for several weeks. And the very next day got a message saying that if I’m going to continue talking about that, that I shouldn’t go to the debate. It’s not surprising to me that she is saying things that aren’t true.

About a month ago, shortly after I called for more debates, the chairwoman said publicly that she had communicated and consulted with vice chairs and officers of the DNC prior to making her decision, both about the number of debates as well as this retribution policy of the exclusivity clause.

“The fact is, there was no communication or no consultation with the vice chairs and officers, of which I am one, so it’s unfortunate that she continues to say things that aren’t true but what I would like to focus on is the issue of democracy, the issue of freedom of speech which is really the core principle here in my call for more debates and in my call to get rid of this retribution policy that punishes these very serious presidential candidates from going out and engaging the American people across the country in different forums and different debates if they do so outside of the six DNC-sanctioned debates.”

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