Representative Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii called out and fact-checked Representative Tim Ryan of Ohio during the first Democratic presidential debate on Wednesday evening, after her congressional colleague and fellow 2020 contender inaccurately claimed the Taliban flew planes into American buildings.
The confrontation between the two presidential candidates came as Ryan suggested the U.S. needs to be “completely engaged,” referencing Afghanistan and Iran. Gabbard, who is a combat veteran of the Iraq War, cut in, arguing that the U.S. should withdraw its forces from Afghanistan and finally bring the country’s longest war to a close. After a brief back and forth, Gabbard pointed out that “the Taliban was there long before we came in. They’ll be there long before we leave.”
“We cannot keep U.S. troops deployed to Afghanistan thinking that we’re going to somehow squash this Taliban that has been there, that every other country that has tried has failed,” she said.