Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT) torched former Rep. Tulsi Gabbard on social media on Sunday over her recent remarks about matters related to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.

“Tulsi Gabbard is parroting false Russian propaganda,” Romney tweeted. “Her treasonous lies may well cost lives.”

It’s not clear the specific comments from Gabbard to which Romney was referring, but she did claim in a video that she posted to social media over the weekend that there are “25 to 30 U.S.-funded bio labs in Ukraine” that are “conducting research on dangerous pathogens.” In the video, Gabbard called for a ceasefire until the labs could be secured and the pathogens inside the labs destroyed.

Notable initial responses to Romney included:

  • Jon Gabriel, Ricochet: “The bar for ‘treason’ keeps dropping. Beginning to think the uniparty doesn’t hate Putin — they want to emulate his speech codes.”
  • Kurt Schlichter, attorney: “That’s LTC Gabbard to you. I don’t need to hear one damn word from anyone in your non-serving family about patriotism. And I don’t even agree with her, but at least she and I served – unlike you and your entire family of free riders – and we’ll both say whatever we want. Jerk.”
  • Ned Ryun, political commentator: “Dear Utah, upgrade your Senator please. He’s a pathetic idiot.”
  • David Marcus, columnist: “This is incredibly stupid. In America we’re allowed to have different opinions.”
  • David Reaboi, political commentator: “The extent to which politicians causally throw around accusations of ‘treason’ based on political rhetoric is the extent to which the regime is broken beyond repair. I’d like @MittRomney —a politician I (regrettably) maxed-out donating to in 2012—to walk us through exactly how anything @TulsiGabbard says about Russia and Ukraine would constitute ‘treason.’ We are not at war with Russia; even if we were, does the USG control the speech of every American as it relates to the conflict? Will there be a fact sheet from which we cannot deviate? What constitutes ‘treasonous’ speech, aside from ‘I support the enemy’? If the so-called ‘treasonous’ speech is more subtle than that, where’s the line exactly? These people are craven, low IQ hysterics. Their continued presence in public life makes people despise the whole regime, and with good reason.”
  • Brendan Nyhan, professor: “Gabbard’s misinformation is pernicious, but it is not treason. We should not throw around such terms or criminalize political speech.”

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