Sen. Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill., is fighting back against attacks on her patriotism by President Donald Trump and Fox News anchor Tucker Carlson, calling them a "desperate" effort to distract from Trump's "failure to lead our nation."
The double amputee and Iraq War veteran came under fire after she said "we should listen to the argument" in favor of removing statues of George Washington, and called for "national dialogue" about statues' removal, The Hill reported.
Carlson accused her of hating America, and the Trump campaign charged she was using her military service to "deflect from her support for the left-wing campaign to villainize America's founding."
In a New York Times commentary Thursday, Duckworth asserted both Carlson and Trump are just trying to distract people from Trump's "failure" to lead the country, and get him re-elected.
"[W]hat I actually said isn't the reason Mr. Carlson and Mr. Trump are questioning my patriotism, nor is it why they're using the same racist insults against me that have been slung my way time and again in years past, though they have never worked on me," she wrote.
"They're doing it because they're desperate for America's attention to be on anything other than Donald Trump's failure to lead our nation, and because they think that Mr. Trump's electoral prospects will be better if they can turn us against one another," she added. "Their goal isn't to make — or keep — America great. It's to keep Mr. Trump in power, whatever the cost."
Duckworth also quotes George Washington's farewell address, which warned against "the impostures of pretended patriotism."
"While I would put on my old uniform and go to war all over again to protect the right of Tucker Carlson and Donald Trump to say offensive things on TV and Twitter, I will also spend every moment I can from now until November fighting to elect leaders who would rather do good for their country than do well for themselves," she wrote.
VoteVets, a liberal veterans' organization, released a video Wednesday defending Duckworth, while also criticizing Trump and Carlson. The organization has been supportive of presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden potentially choosing Duckworth as his running mate, CBS News reported.
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