Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii) said Thursday that it’s “unfortunate” that some people “found a way to get out of serving their country” in Vietnam, although she declined to weigh in specifically on President Trump’s draft deferments.
Gabbard, an Iraq War veteran who is running for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, was speaking during a wide-ranging Washington Post Live interview.
“Look, those who found a way to get out of serving their country, I think is unfortunate,” she said, adding: “I personally don’t think highly of those who chose to dodge service.”
But asked specifically about Trump’s four student deferments and one medical disqualification during the Vietnam War, Gabbard declined to comment, saying that she is “not a doctor” and is unfamiliar with the details.
“That has been reported,” Gabbard said when asked about the attacks. “There’s still more information that’s coming out.”
She sharply criticized Trump’s statement to ABC News that he would consider accepting foreign opposition research.
“I strongly disagree with that statement. I would not,” Gabbard said, adding that she would report it to the FBI.
And she argued that accusations of sexual assault within the military should be handled through a “transparent, independent approach” outside the chain of command.
Gabbard pointed to recently released data showing a nearly 38 percent spike in sexual assaults reported by service members in 2018.
“Now, some people are saying, ‘Hey, maybe that’s a positive sign in that more and more people are actually reporting, whereas previously they weren’t,’ ” she said. “But regardless, what it tells us is that this is something that is still too prevalent, and the current system that is in place within the military justice system is not providing that justice.”