Democratic presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard appeared on Tucker Carlson’s Fox News program Thursday night and spoke about her defamation lawsuit against Hillary Clinton, Newsweek reports. The Hawaii Rep. filed the suit in response to the former secretary of state’s implication that she is a Russian asset.
Gabbard — a member of the Hawaii Army National Guard — told Carlson that one of the motivating factors for the lawsuit was to value the other members of the U.S. Army.
“This is my life that we’re talking about here. For me as a soldier, as every service member does, I took an oath of loyalty to our country. The country that I love. Willing to put my life on the line for our country, deploying twice to the Middle East to do so.”
The 38-year-old congresswoman also noted that she believes Clinton is engaged in an effort to destroy her reputation.
“So when you have someone as powerful as Hillary Clinton seeking to smear my reputation and essentially implying that I’m a traitor to the country that I love, what she essentially is doing is taking my life away.”
Gabbard has long drawn the ire of the Democratic establishment after she stepped down from her position on the Democratic National Committee (DNC) in 2016. Her decision was motivated by what she claimed was unfair treatment of Bernie Sanders in the 2016 primary in favor of Clinton.
Clinton appeared on the Campaign HQ with David Plouffe podcast in October and suggested that Russia was grooming Gabbard for a potential third-party run to undermine the Democratic Party. The remark drew criticism from many, including conservative political commentator Saagar Enjeti, who suggested that Clinton is still bitter that she failed to defeat Donald Trump in 2016. He also pointed to her purported anger toward Gabbard for drawing attention to the DNC’s reported bias in 2016.
The presidential hopeful also received support from her fellow Democratic presidential candidates. Sanders called the claim “outrageous,” while Andrew Yang said that the congresswoman deserved “much more respect.”
Gabbard is suing Clinton for $50M in damages. The lawsuit claimed that Clinton has yet to apologize or retract her comments, which are noted as “devastating” for a politician in the United States.
Gabbard was also recently questioned about how she determined the amount of money she is seeking and suggested she should have asked for $50B, The Hill reported.
Earlier this week, Clinton spokesman Nick Merrill addressed the lawsuit while speaking to The Daily Beast, calling it “ridiculous.”