Published: Sat, January 12, 2019
Worldwide | By Myra Stephens

Democratic Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard running for president in 2020

Democratic Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard running for president in 2020

Democratic congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, an Iraq war veteran who met dictator Bashar al-Assad in Syria during that country's devastating civil war, has said that she is launching a U.S. presidential bid.

Tulsi Gabbard says she has made a decision to run for president and will hold a formal announcement within the next week.

"I have chose to run and will be making a formal announcement within the next week", Gabbard, a liberal 37-year-old Iraq War veteran as well as the first Hindu and first Samoan-American elected to the US Congress, told CNN.

She is the latest to join what is expected to be a crowded Democratic primary field before the November 2020 presidential election. Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Massachusetts) announced on New Year's Eve that she was forming a presidential exploratory committee. She also was one of the first female combat veterans elected to Congress ― deployed to Iraq from 2004 to 2005, and to Kuwait from 2008 to 2009 as a member of the Hawaii Army National Guard. She ended up being a backer of Sen.

The congresswoman recently found herself publicly sparring with a fellow Hawaii Democrat, Sen.

Leading up to the 2016 Democratic primaries, Gabbard served under Democratic National Committee chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz as vice-chairwoman but resigned to fully support Bernie Sanders' campaign.

Indeed, Gabbard has rankled some in her party for her unorthodox moves. Gabbard would likely fight for attention in the race with other big names in the party, like former Vice President Joe Biden, Vermont Sen.

Gabbard dropped the news during an interview with CNN's Van Jones.

Gabbard was criticized in 2016 for traveling to Syria and meeting with President Bashar Assad, who has been accused of war crimes. After Donald Trump was elected, she met with the then president-elect to discuss the war in Syria. A clip of her announcement is already posted on the network's website, in which she says a formal announcement will be coming within the next week. That led to more critical attention to Gabbard's foreign policy views, though a few months into the Trump administration, she rejected praise from the president and his allies. In response, Gabbard wrote on Twitter that "being Saudi Arabia's bitch is not 'America First'". "Liberals think she's too conservative, conservatives think she's too liberal, and just about everyone thinks her coziness with Bashar al-Assad is disturbing", said Ahrens.

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