Rep. Gabbard Won't Call Syria's Assad a US Adversary

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Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii, is holding her presidential campaign kick-off rally in Honolulu.

Democratic presidential hopeful Rep. Tulsi Gabbard has apparently gotten an endorsement she said she can do without - from former KKK leader David Duke.

She is one of the first two female combat veterans to ever serve in the U.S. Congress, and also its first Hindu member.

Since Gabbard announced her intention to run on January 11, there have been at least 20 Gabbard stories on three major Moscow-based English-language websites affiliated with or supportive of the Russian government: RT, the Russian-owned TV outlet; Sputnik News, a radio outlet; and Russia Insider, a blog that experts say closely follows the Kremlin line.

Gabbard has previously backed left-winger Bernie Sanders, when he competed against Hillary Clinton to represent the Democrats in the 2016 presidency race, which was eventually won by Donald Trump.

GABBARD: I just want to point out - I want to point out that that NBC article has been debunked and disproven. If the simple understanding is that the Russian government, which worked to elect Trump in 2016, would like him to win in 2020, Russia will likely seize on any candidate that can help put a wrench in the primary process.

She's faced criticism over a visit with Assad in 2017, among other statements she's made on Syria.

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Gabbard recently announced her campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2020, and she has pledged to draw down USA military efforts overseas.

Gabbard, who is both Hindu and of Samoan descent, responded to Duke on Twitter, expressing her disdain for his support.

Gabbard's 2005 deployment was a 12-month tour in Iraq, where she served in a field medical unit as a specialist with a 29th Support Battalion medical company and was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal.

Gabbard has consistently opposed USA intervention in Syria, going as far as to secretly meet with Syria's president, Bashar al-Assad, in January 2017, sparking fierce criticism from some in her own party.

"Assad is not the enemy of the United States because Syria does not pose a direct threat to the United States", Gabbard said. There was indeed a USA policy of regime change in Syria.

Gabbard also serves on the House Financial Services Committee, where she fights for the nation's financial, banking, and housing policies to serve the American poeople - not Wall Street and special interests.

In 2015, she parted with many Democrats by criticizing then-President Barack Obama for refusing to use the term "Islamic extremism" to describe members of Islamic State and other militant groups.

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