Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard Announces She's Running For President In 2020

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard delivers remarks on the second day of the Democratic National Convention at the Wells Fargo Center

Gabbard, a delegate for Hawaii in the House of Representatives, told CNN in an interview set to air on Saturday night that she will formally announce her candidacy within the week.

"I have made a decision to run and will be making a formal announcement within the next week", Gabbard told CNN's Van Jones during an interview scheduled to air at 7 p.m. Saturday.

Last year, Gabbard came under intense criticism - including from some Democrats - for traveling to that country and meeting with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, whose government lawmakers have accused of war crimes and even genocide during that country's brutal civil war.

She said she doesn't regret the trip and considers it important to meet with adversaries if "you are serious about pursuing peace".

Gabbard, 37, who stepped down as DNC vice chair in 2016 to support Bernie Sanders in the Democratic Party primaries, has drawn flak from her side of the aisle, largely over her stance on gay rights and the U.S. involvement in Syria. Bernie Sanders' highest-profile supporters, aligning herself with his populist economic message.

She added, "There are a lot of reasons for me to make this decision".

She continues to be a member of the Army National Guard with the rank of major and while serving in Congress has been mobilised for emergency duties. California Sen. Kamala Harris, New Jersey Sen.

US Senator Elizabeth Warren of MA on December 31 announced she had formed an exploratory committee for a White House run in what is expected to be a crowded Democratic primary field before the November 2020 presidential election.

She's also been critical of her own party, calling out Hillary Clinton's track record of supporting foreign wars during the 2016 presidential primary. She also noted that the 2003 invasion of Iraq was based on faulty intelligence and said that she wanted to understand the evidence of the Syria attack. In response, Gabbard wrote on Twitter that "being Saudi Arabia's bitch is not 'America First'".

Gabbard would eventually support the Iran nuclear deal, while becoming one of few Democrats to back legislation making it harder for Syrian refugees to enter the United States.

Gabbard's aide Rania Batrice will manage her presidential campaign. Gabbard would likely fight for attention in the race with other big names in the party, like former Vice President Joe Biden, Vermont Sen.

But asked whether Gabbard's rebuke would affect their relationship, Hirono told Hawaii News Now she "works well" with "Republicans" and said she would "certainly" welcome opportunities to work with Gabbard.

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