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"There is one main issue that is central to the rest, and that is the issue of war and peace", said Gabbard, an Iraq War veteran and now serving on the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

According to Politico contributor Marc Caputo, the Republican National Committee has dubbed Gabbard Assad's "mouthpiece" in Washington in an internal memo. "Our residents are feeling the very real impacts of President Trump's policies, and it should be every Democrat's top priority to replace this unsafe administration".

Gabbard, who supported Senator Bernie Sanders against former secretary of state Hillary Clinton in the 2016 Democratic primary, told the CNN that there are a lot of reasons for her to take this decision.

In 2015, Gabbard, then a vice-chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee, was sharply critical of its then-chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz for scheduling just six presidential debates during the 2016 primary election cycle. She is the first Hindu member of Congress and its first Samoan American. While her support for Sanders' economic message may turn off libertarians for obvious reasons, it's hard to imagine there being anyone in either major party primary who will be more critical of America's wasteful and seemingly endless post-9/11 wars. Mazie Hirono and Kamala Harris, who aggressively questioned the nominee, Brian Buescher, about his religious beliefs.

She has advocated cutting United States aid to Pakistan and pressuring it to end its support global terrorism.

An article in The Intercept last week led to a debate after it described Gabbard as "a polarising figure" whose "progressive domestic politics are at odds with her support for authoritarians overseas, including [Prime Minister Narendra] Modi, [Egyptian President Abdel Fattah] Sisi, and Syria's Bashar al-Assad".

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He said it is also for migrants who have come from the Western borders and have settled down in Rajasthan, Punjab and Delhi.

Gabbard, a co-Chair of the powerful House India Caucus, was recently re-elected for the US House of Representatives from Hawaii for the fourth consecutive term. She said "whoever is found responsible" must be held accountable and talked about "if" Assad is indeed guilty.

A source close to Gabbard confirmed to CBS News that she is running.

The Democratic Party Of Hawai'i Chair Keali'i Lopez has already issued a statement supporting Rep. Gabbard's presidential announcement.

Gabbard recalls that she found the meeting encouraging.

Former Vice President Joe Biden, who comes from the party's centrist wing, is also likely to join the fray.

"Tulsi Gabbard has an even bigger problem than her lack of experience ― it's that she has no base of support", Ahrens said. She met with Assad in 2017.


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