AOC yelled at by Tulsi Gabbard fans at town hall for backing US action to help Ukraine against Russia

The former Democrat has previously shared conspiracy over Ukraine conflict

Thursday 13 October 2022 19:43 BST
Related video: Tulsi Gabbard claims that US-funded biolabs in Ukraine pose grave threat

Fans of former Democratic presidential nominee Tulsi Gabbard were seen shouting and arguing with Rep Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez supporters at a town hall on the issue of Ukraine.

Ms Ocasio-Cortez was hosting a town hall on Wednesday when, as video posted on social media showed, she was heckled by supporters of Ms Gabbard.

“Congresswoman, none of this matters unless there’s a nuclear war which you voted to send arms and weapons to Ukraine,” shouted one of the protesters of Ms Ocasio-Cortez’s support for Kyiv, before mentioning Ms Gabbard.

“Tulsi Gabbard, she’s left the Democratic Party because they’re (Democrats are) war hawks,” said a man who identified himself as Jose Vega on Twitter after the heckling, Fox News reported.

Video showed supporters of the Democrat congresswoman responding to the protesters, although the replies could not be heard. Ms Ocasio-Cortex meanwhile tried reasoning with the pair, one of whom she called “rude”.

Mr Vega meanwhile wrote on Twitter: “My friend Noggatone and I confronted Congresswoman AOC on her support for Nuclear War and Ukrainian Nazis. I call her out for being a coward in the face of the party that will push us all into Nuclear war right now. Will she stand up like Tulsi Gabbard and fight for peace?”

Under US President Joe Biden, the US has sent around $17.5bn in military aid to Ukraine, making it the biggest supporter of the country since Russian president Vladimir invaded in February.

Many Republicans, in addition to Ms Gabbard, have long accused the Biden administration and NATO allies of leading the world to a “nuclear war” or “world war three” over the Ukraine conflict, which was started by Russia.

Some on the right have also seen military aid as an apparent blockade on “peace”, although Russia has continued to escalate its war on Ukraine after hopes of overthrowing the country’s democratically elected government ended in failure earlier this year.

In March, Ms Gabbard shared a fringe conspiracy theory about the presence of “US biolabs” in Ukraine that would result in pathogens being released around the world.

Those remarks, which were unfounded, were rebuked by figures including Utah Senator Mitt Romney, who said the former Hawaii senator had spread “treasonous lies” that amounted to “Russian propaganda”.

On Tuesday, when Ms Gabbard announced her departure from the Democratic Party, she cited “dragging us ever closer to nuclear war” as a reason for her long anticipated departure from the very same party she once tried to represent as president.

Russian president Vladimir Putin has warned Ukraine’s supporters – namely Europe and the US – that “if our territorial integrity is threatened, will use all means we have”, in an apparent nod to nuclear warheads.

The White House has said it has not seen “indications that Russia is preparing to imminently use nuclear weapons” following Mr Putin’s warnings last month, which were followed by Ukrainian successes in the occupied eastern regions of the country.

Mr Biden was meanwhile reported as saying at a recent event: “He’s (Mr Putin) not joking when he talks about potential use of tactical nuclear weapons or biological or chemical weapons because his military is, you might say, significantly underperforming”.

The Independent has contacted Ms Ocasio-Cortez’s office for comment.

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