DEM DEBATE | Ryan tries to clean up clash with Gabbard

YOUNGSTOWN — U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan said today his dust-up at Wednesday’s initial Democratic presidential debate with U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard was her attempt “to manipulate what I was saying.”

Ryan of Howland, D-13th, and Gabbard of Hawaii had a heated exchange about troops in Afghanistan.

At one point, Ryan said: “The reality is if the United States isn’t engaged, the Taliban will grow and they will have bigger, bolder terrorist acts.” He later said that “when we weren’t in [Afghanistan, the Taliban] started flying planes into our buildings.”

Gabbard responded: “The Taliban didn’t attack us on 9/11; al-Qaida did. That’s why I and so many other people joined the military: to go after al-Qaida after 9/11.”

Ryan then said the Taliban was “protecting those people who were plotting against us.”

He is correct as the Taliban harbored al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden before 9/11.

Ryan today criticized Gabbard for meeting with Syria’s Bashar Al-Assad, who used chemical weapons on his own citizens.

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