- The Washington Times - Thursday, April 4, 2019

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, a 2020 Democratic presidential candidate, slammed CNN’s Fareed Zakaria on social media Wednesday, accusing the “GPS” host of trying to “goad” President Trump into starting a war with Russia over the Venezuela crisis.

“TV talking heads love trying to goad Trump into going to war w/ Russia,” Ms. Gabbard, an Iraq War veteran and anti-war candidate from Hawaii, wrote in an Instagram post. “Here’s just one example: Fareed Zakaria is trying to get Trump to prove he’s not guilty of appeasement by going to war with Russia over Venezuela.”

The post included a brief clip of Mr. Zakaria from a recent broadcast saying a “real puzzle” remains after the conclusion of the Robert Mueller investigation.

“Why has Trump been unwilling to confront Putin in any way on any issue?” Mr. Zakaria asked on his show. “And will Venezuela finally be the moment when Trump ends his appeasement?”

The Trump administration recognizes Venezuela’s interim president, Juan Guaidó, as the embattled country’s legitimate leader. Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro and his regime, however, have been significantly propped up by the Russian government, receiving Russian troops and billions of dollars in arms and supplies.

Mr. Trump, who said late last month that Russia needs to “get out” of Venezuela, has also said that “all options are open” to ensure that happens.

In the full clip by Mr. Zakaria posted by Newsweek, the CNN host said Mr. Trump faces a “crucial test of his foreign policy and his resolve” over Venezuela.

“Putin’s efforts seem designed to taunt the United States, which announced the Monroe Doctrine in 1823 warning foreign powers to stay out of the western hemisphere,” he said, referring to Russian President Vladimir Putin. “The big question for Washington is will it allow Moscow to make a mockery of another American red line?”

Mr. Zakaria compared the situation to former President Barack Obama’s “red line” on Syria using chemical weapons.

“As with Syria, there is a danger that if Washington does not back its words with deeds, a year from now, we will be watching the consolidation of the Maduro regime supported by Russian arms and money,” the CNN host said.

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