Lots of people are talking about the utterly batshit interview congresswoman and 2020 Democratic "candidate" Tulsi Gabbard gave on "Morning Joe" today. It covered a lot of subjects, but what people are really noticing is how Gabbard just flat refused to call Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad, who genocides his own people, an enemy of the United States. She wouldn't even call Assad an "adversary." And she wouldn't admit Assad gassed his own people. And she wouldn't admit that Russia really seems to like her for the Democratic nomination. (It does!)

Kasie Hunt started the questioning, because she was just curious about that time Gabbard met with Assad, and how much Gabbard really supports him, which is kind of a common question. Gabbard traveled to see him in 2017, and weirdly, she came back trumpeting the very same propaganda about the Syrian civil war Assad has been propagating. (And who is Assad's ally in that fight? Putin!)

HUNT: Do you think Assad is our enemy?

GABBARD: Assad is not the enemy of the United States because Syria does not pose a direct threat to the United States.

Well, he poses a direct threat to our allies in the region, so there's that.

Hunt asked Gabbard what she would say to people in the military who are fighting against ISIS and Assad's forces, and Gabbard sidestepped the question, saying the military has its mission, which is not regime change in Syria. And that's a valid point! But then it got weird again, when Joe Scarborough took over the questioning:

SCARBOROUGH: Assad is not an enemy. Is he an adversary of the United States?

GABBARD: We have to look to who poses a threat to the United States ...

SCARBOROUGH: No no, I understand that, but there are a lot of people who don't pose a direct military threat to the United States, who consider themselves to be adversaries of the United States. Vladimir Putin ... considers America to be an enemy. We consider Russia to be an adversary. I'm just asking, do you consider Assad to be an adversary of the United States?

Gabbard responded by not answering. Now it was Mika Brzezinski's turn! And she got ... the same non-answer.

BRZEZINSKI: So what would you say he is to the United States, if you cannot say that he is an adversary or an enemy, what is Assad to the US? What is the word?

GABBARD: You can describe it however you want to describe it.

BRZEZINSKI: I want to know how you describe it.

Nope. All Gabbard would say is that she looks at all world leaders and considers whether their interests are in line with our interests. So Kasie Hunt tried again!

HUNT: Are Assad's interests aligned with ours?

GABBARD: What are Assad's interests?

Um, Tulsi Gabbard, FYI, but Kasie Hunt asked you. Also she made this face at you:

Hunt answered anyway:

HUNT: Assad seems interested, primarily, in the slaughter of his own people ...

And Scarborough noted that he uses weapons of mass destruction, and Brzezinski added, "He's an adversary. It's not that hard."

Willie Geist asked Gabbard to confirm or deny, does she think Assad actually used chemical weapons on his own people? (He did.)

GABBARD: I certainly think it's possible.

But, you know, she's skeptical. It could have been Assad, it could have been China, it could have been a 400-pound hacker on his bed in New Jersey ...


The interview went strange one more time, when, after Gabbard confirmed that Vladimir Putin is an adversary of the United States, and confirmed that she agrees with our intel community's assessment that Russia meddled in the 2016 election and will continue to do so in the future, Kasie Hunt asked her if she agrees with reporting that shows that Russia is meddling right now ... to help Tulsi Gabbard. UH OH!

GABBARD: Cite those reports and their credibility.

HUNT: Well, the Russian propaganda machine -- we did an analysis actually at NBC News ...

GABBARD: I want to point out that NBC article has been debunked and disproven.

HUNT: By whom?

Oh yes. Gabbard called NBC's sources "so-called experts," and attacked NBC News for "bullying" people, by doing FAKE NEWS about Russia propagandizing on her behalf. The interview was soon over.

To be clear, NBC's analysis shows that "the main English-language news sites employed by Russia in its 2016 election meddling shows Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii ... has become a favorite of the sites Moscow used when it interfered in 2016." And that's not all:

Since Gabbard announced her intention to run on Jan. 11, there have been at least 20 Gabbard stories on three major Moscow-based English-language websites affiliated with or supportive of the Russian government: RT, the Russian-owned TV outlet; Sputnik News, a radio outlet; and Russia Insider, a blog that experts say closely follows the Kremlin line. The CIA has called RT and Sputnik part of "Russia's state-run propaganda machine."

And their coverage has been breathtakingly positive, especially of the foreign policy positions Gabbard holds that are the same as the Kremlin's positions. NBC shares a sample headline: "Heroic Tulsi Gabbard Will Run on Her Sensible Foreign Policy. Expect Democrats, Faux Progressives to Squeal."

Oh, and guess who "debunked" the NBC News article? No less than RT, formerly known as Russia Today, currently known as essentially a state-run mouthpiece of the Putin regime. Oh, also Glenn Greenwald, who just loves Tulsi Gabbard, and who never ever ever EVER would let somebody say something mean about Russia without challenging it loudly on the internet with fighty words.

(SIDE NOTE: Have you guys seen Glenn Greenwald go on Tucker Carlson's white supremacist shouty show one million times in the past several months, to defend Tulsi Gabbard? Greenwald is totally cool with how Gabbard used to be majorly anti-gay, because she says that was wrong of her, and she's sorry. Pardon us, but as a gay person who possesses self-love, we like Democratic presidential candidates who didn't use phrases like "homosexual extremists" as recently as 2004, and who said in 2016 that her "personal" views are still anti-gay, and that she votes to support LGBT people now because she really hates the Muslims. And no, both-sides-ers -- PAGING GLENN -- that is not the same as a Democrat who used to be personally against marriage equality and then "evolved," but never led pitchfork brigades against the LGBT community. Anyway, our point in bringing up Greenwald going on Tucker to defend Tulsi Gabbard is to note that everything you've heard about the Horseshoe Theory is fuckin' TRUE, man.)

Hey, at least Gabbard was willing to disavow David Duke's endorsement of her on today's "Morning Joe." (Yeah, that happened. And honest to God, we have zero reason to doubt her condemnations of Duke. Or her condemnations of Nazi Richard Spencer, who's also totally into her for some reason. Probably economic anxiety. Anyway, the "alt-right" just really fuckin' loves Tulsi Gabbard, is our point.)

This is far from the first time shit has gotten weird with Tulsi Gabbard. Indeed, we've been meaning to write some sort of WTF TULSI GABBARD post ever since she announced she was "running" for president. (In related personal news: Wonkette is running for "King of France." Wish us luck!) But something about the weird-ass "Morning Joe" interview, on top of the really stupid drama over how NBC News is bad because it's reporting regular non-biased information about how Russia has decided it's all in for Gabbard, made us want to finally do it today.

So we did!

We don't know what's going to happen in the Democratic primary, and there really aren't candidates we're ruling out. But this Tulsi Gabbard character? Boy, I don't know.

Anyway, have an OPEN THREAD.

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Evan Hurst

Evan Hurst is the senior editor of Wonkette, which means he is the boss of you, unless you are Rebecca, who is boss of him. His dog Lula is judging you right now.

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Once upon a time... about ten years ago, a group of entirely ridiculous men burst onto the scene wearing stupid hats and telling men that wearing stupid hats and telling men that walking up to women in bars and insulting ("negging") them would get them laid. This did not last long, as women also had televisions and computers and were completely aware of these tricks as well, so when some ass came up to us in a bar and said "Hey, nice nails, are they real?" we would laugh and laugh and loudly announce "Oh my god, this guy just tried to neg me! Can you believe that shit? HEY EVERYONE, THIS GUY JUST TRIED TO NEG ME!" and then refer to him as "Mystery" the whole night.

Most of the men who tried that shit only did so a few times before realizing that it wasn't going to work, and thus moved on to other things. Perhaps things that did not involve furry hats and coming off as a huge creep. We may never know, because I would assume that those who tried it are now extremely embarrassed and would never, ever admit to this to us.

Still, there were a few men willing to eat that shit up, as well as some grifters willing to take advantage of that. Said grifters tended to be extremely misogynistic and seemed more like they were teaching men how to be as despised by women as they were than teaching them how to actually be liked by women.

Some of them, like Roosh V, a creepy weirdo who actually does live in his mom's basement, actively encouraged men to rape women who were intoxicated to the point of being obviously unable to consent.

However, even that branch of the PUA tree is wilting away. Many "self-help" style PUA forums like Nextasf and RSDnation are shutting down or have already shut down. In March, Chateau Heartiste, a batshit crazy PUA turned White Nationalist/Alt-Right blog was shut down by Wordpress. This week, rape advocate Roosh V (whom you may recall once called yours truly a "Wonkette typist/clown face, would not bang") announced that he was renouncing his PUA ways and devoting himself to Jesus. He explained to the forum he manages that he would no longer be allowing anyone to discuss premarital "fornication."

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'Baby Geniuses' star Jon Voight took to Twitter early this morning to proclaim his undying love for Donald Trump, probably because there is no one left in his life who will listen to him talk about this, or anything else, in person. In this video rant, Voight encouraged members of the Republican Party, whom he apparently thinks are the only real citizens of the United States, to stand by Donald Trump and "acknowledge the truth" that he is the best President since Abraham Lincoln.

Part ONE:

People of the Republican Party, I know you will agree with me when I say our president has our utmost respect and our love. This job is not easy. For he's battling the left and their absurd words of destruction. I've said this once and I'll say this again. That our nation has been built on the solid ground from our forefathers, and there is a moral code of duty that has been passed on from President Lincoln. I'm here today to acknowledge the truth, and I'm here today to tell you my fellow Americans that our country…

Oh no, not our absurd words of destruction!

Part DEUX:

is stronger, safer, and with more jobs because our President has made his every move correct. Don't be fooled by the political left, because we are the people of this nation that is witnessing triumph. So let us stand with our president. Let us stand up for this truth, that President Trump is the greatest president since President Lincoln.

Does Jon Voight not know there have been... other presidents? Can he name them? Because really, it does not sound like it. Does he also not know that a very big chunk of the Republican Party actually does not care very much for Abraham Lincoln? Namely those defenders of Confederate statues that Trump called "very fine people?" Also, did he intentionally diss their beloved Ronald Reagan?

Who can know? Who can even tell what he is trying to say or why he is trying to say it. He doesn't appear to have tweeted much since 2016, so I'm guessing whoever's job it was to keep him from tanking his career quit. Either that... or after filming the seventh season of Ray Donovan, he found out it's going to be canceled or his character is getting killed off or something and he is now free to be a jackass? I don't know, I haven't watched the show, although my parents are very into it and mad that I haven't watched it. Literally all I know about it is that it has something to do with Boston, because they keep mentioning that to me like it's a selling point.

It seems useless at this point to note that the people who scream their faces off about how bad it is for Hollywood celebs to support liberal causes, and how they should keep their politics to themselves, etc. etc. make a way bigger deal than normal people do whenever a Big Time Hollywood Celebrity like Jon Voight or, uh, Scott Baio, supports their cause. Mostly because they're the only ones who have elected a reality TV star and the star of Bedtime for Bonzo (who by the way, also once practically ruined a perfectly good Bette Davis movie with his bad acting. Which is not to say that Dark Victory is not fantastic and probably the best thing to watch if you want to sob your face off, but he was very bad in it.) to run the country.

But we might as well do that anyway, because it actually never stops being funny.

[Jon Voight Twitter]

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