(NewsNation) — Calling the Jan. 6 House committee “one-sided,” former U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard aired her grievances about the Democratic Party on Thursday, explaining her decision to leave the party and proclaiming herself an independent.
The ex-congresswoman from Hawaii announced her decision to leave the party earlier this week, which she said on “CUOMO” has received mixed reaction from colleagues.
“The thing that’s been most heartening is hearing from Americans across the country … who felt deeply moved, who felt like I was bringing voice to concerns that they were feeling in a really visceral way but too afraid in this cancel culture to speak up,” Gabbard said. “That’s where I see opportunity for us as a country to be able to step up, speak the truth and exercise our freedoms.”
In announcing her decision to leave the party, Gabbard earlier this week said the party is “under the complete control of an elitist cabal of warmongers who are driven by cowardly wokeness.”
Proclaiming herself an independent, Gabbard says she has no plans to run for office, at least presently, because right now the American public is facing “an existential threat” of nuclear war and she can’t think about the next election. She blamed President Joe Biden for escalating the in war in Ukraine and leading the country down a path of no return.
“They forgot what Ronald Reagan said: that a nuclear war cannot be won and should not be fought,” Gabbard said. “If we don’t deal with this now, if we don’t hold our leaders to account … we won’t have this conversation in a month because society will be finished. The world will end as we know it.”
Russian President Vladimir has been threatening to use nuclear weapons following successful counteroffensives by Ukraine that have resulted in the regaining of territory. Weapons provided by the United States and other Western countries have proven crucial in aiding Ukrainian forces.
Gabbard has long been on the fringe of American politics and has been criticized for her closeness with Russia. She was criticized by members of the Republican Party, including Rep. Adam Kinzinger (Ill.) and Sen. Mitt Romney (Utah), earlier this year for spreading Russian misinformation about U.S. biolabs in Ukraine.
Speaking on “CUOMO,” Gabbard suggested the United States should persuade Ukraine to get to the negotiating table to end the war. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has said Ukraine would not accept a deal that forfeits any land to Russia.
“(Biden) needs to step up and bring the stakeholders around the table to have a negotiated end to this war that has been escalating ever since Putin invaded in February,” Gabbard said.
The White House has said it is leaving any negotiating up to Zelenskyy and has not asked for any conditions to be included in a potential peace deal. Gabbard refuted that assertion, saying Biden and NATO leaders urged Ukraine to abandon peace talks in the spring.
“Every single American should be pissed off about that,” Gabbard said. “People here in the United States are continuing to struggle and wondering, ‘What the hell are we doing here?'”
Gabbard’s interview came on the same day the House committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol voted to subpoena former President Donald Trump. In a televised hearing, the panel revealed new information that Secret Service records indicate agents knew about the potential for violence that day.
Like many Republicans, Gabbard claimed the committee is “one-sided” and hasn’t heard testimony from other people that day, despite the fact numerous former Trump administration officials have given depositions.
“From the very beginning, they stated their outcomes and pretended to do an investigation to find evidence to support that outcome,” Gabbard said. “A lot of Americans are looking at this as political theater, a way for Democrats to try to win votes before the election.”
Though Gabbard formally departed the party this week, she’s been increasingly critical of it since she dropped out of the presidential race in 2020. She couldn’t say exactly how long she weighed the decision.
“Over the last couple of years, especially. Things have led to a point where today’s Democratic Party is led by fanatical ideologues who oppose freedom,” Gabbard said. “If you express a view that is different from theirs, they can’t just say ‘we agree to disagree.’ They will seek to destroy you, silence you and smear your character.”