Former Democratic Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii said President Joe Biden was “absolutely wrong” to condemn Border Patrol agents without waiting for the facts.
Gabbard was interviewed Saturday by Fox News host Jesse Watters on the show “Watters’ World.”
Last week, a photo of a Border Patrol agent on horseback showed the agent using what appeared to be a whip as Haitian illegal immigrants accumulated near the international bridge in Del Rio, Texas.
However photographer Paul Ratje said that what many eyes thought was a whip was in fact the rein of the horse the agent was riding.
“I’ve never seen them whip anyone,” Ratje said, according to Fox News. “He was swinging it, but it can be misconstrued when you’re looking at the picture.”
Biden, however, condemned the agents in a White House news conference.
“[I]t was horrible what — to see, as you saw — to see people treated like they did: horses nearly running them over and people being strapped. It’s outrageous. I promise you, those people will pay. They will be — an investigation is underway now, and there will be consequences. There will be consequences. It’s an embarrassment. But beyond an embarrassment, it’s dangerous; it’s wrong,” he said.
For comments that were based on anything but the facts, Gabbard said, “He’s absolutely wrong and he needs to apologize to the American people for saying what he said.”
“What he essentially did was act as judge, jury and executioner for these Customs and Border [Protection] agents on horseback,” she said.
“How can they expect to have any kind of fair outcome to an investigation when the president of the United States has already declared their guilt and that they will be punished?” she said.
Gabbard said the incident is troubling because it is part of a larger problem of issuing judgment before the facts.
“If we are no longer a country of laws, if we are no longer a country where we know we will be presumed innocent unless proven guilty, then we don’t have a democracy,” she said.
“That’s the increasing feeling that a lot of us have, is that we are losing our democracy and moving closer and closer to what essentially is an autocracy,” she said.
I was hoping that Biden would keep his promise to try to unite our country, but instead this admin has used race and identity politics to divide us, our freedom of speech and civil liberties are under assault, inflation is going through the roof, and we’ve got open borders. pic.twitter.com/uFOxutndho
— Tulsi Gabbard 🌺 (@TulsiGabbard) September 24, 2021
Gabbard said snap judgments that become media dogma are dangerous, noting that those who condemn police officers and others when it fits a political narrative “are getting away with it.”
“They are unwilling to sacrifice their interests for the interests of the country,” she said.
“They have no business being in positions of leadership at any level in our society because who suffers as a result of this? It’s the American people. It’s our democracy. And they don’t care about the cost and the toll that that takes,” Gabbard continued.
“And this is why leadership that puts service above self, that puts the interest of the American people in our country first, is so critical and essential — especially now.”