Gabbard meets Donald Trump.
In a move that has surprised many Democrats, and elated Republicans who back President-elect Donald Trump, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii) met with Trump, on Monday, and has vowed to work with the new administration on the issues that matter to the American people.
Gabbard, the first elected Hindu in the US Congress, and Trump met in New York City to discuss U.S. policy in Syria, she said in a statement, though some have speculated she is under consideration to be the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, reported The Hill.
“President-elect Trump asked me to meet with him about our current policies regarding Syria, our fight against terrorist groups like al-Qaeda and [the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria], as well as other foreign policy challenges we face,” Gabbard said.
“I felt it important to take the opportunity to meet with the President-elect now before the drumbeats of war that neocons have been beating drag us into an escalation of the war to overthrow the Syrian government—a war which has already cost hundreds of thousands of lives and forced millions of refugees to flee their homes in search of safety for themselves and their families.”
Gabbard said that while the “rules of political expediency” would suggest she not take a meeting with the president-elect, she refuses to “play politics” with American and Syrian lives.
“I will continue to seek common ground to deliver results that best serve all Americans, as I have tried to do during my time in Congress,” she said.
She added that while she will not hesitate to express any disagreement with Trump, she believes they can come together on some issues.
“We cannot allow continued divisiveness to destroy our country,” she said.
Gabbard told Trump she opposes a no-fly or safe zone in Syria, calling it “disastrous” for the Syrian people and the U.S.
Trump and Gabbard have “a lot of common ground” and both understand “the country very well,” Kellyanne Conway told reporters on Monday.
The top Trump aide pointed out that Gabbard “went against her party quite boldly early on,” by endorsing Sen. Bernie Sanders, leaving her post at the Democratic National Committee to endorse the Vermont independent’s presidential bid earlier this year.
“There’s a recognition that there’s a big country out there with lots of voters that feel disaffected from their party, the Democrats,” Conway added.
Gabbard was a staunch Sanders supporter, but said she would support Hillary Clinton after she clinched the Democratic nomination.