Democratic Rep. Tulsi Gabbard 'Under Serious Consideration' for Trump Cabinet
The Hawaii Democrat could be the first woman picked for Trump's Cabinet.
— -- Democratic Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, a high-profile Bernie Sanders supporter during the Democratic primaries, is “under serious consideration” for various Cabinet positions in President-elect Donald Trump's administration, according to a senior official on the transition team.
According to the official, the 35-year-old Hawaii congresswoman is being looked as a candidate for secretary of state, secretary of defense or United Nations ambassador. If selected, Gabbard will be the first woman as well as the youngest pick for Trump's Cabinet.
She met with him this morning in his New York City offices at Trump Tower. The Trump transition source said that their sit-down was a “terrific meeting” and that the Trump team sees her as very impressive.
Gabbard, a progressive Democrat, has bucked her party in Congress and during the contentious Democratic primaries. In February she left her position as vice chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee to support Sanders. In the House she has broken with Democrats on the Syrian civil war (she supports keeping President Bashar al-Assad in power) and Syrian refugees (she voted for a GOP bill last year to conduct stricter background checks on refugees).
This afternoon she released a long statement on her meeting with Trump, saying he asked to meet with her about "our current policies regarding Syria, our fight against terrorist groups like al-Qaeda and ISIS, as well as other foreign policy challenges we face.” She said they had a “frank and positive conversation in which we discussed a variety of foreign policy issues in depth."
"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," she said in the statement, adding that she would not let politics get in the way of meeting with the president-elect. "I never have and never will play politics with American and Syrian lives."
She added that when she disagrees with Trump, "I will not hesitate to express that disagreement."
"However, I believe we can disagree, even strongly, but still come together on issues that matter to the American people and affect their daily lives. We cannot allow continued divisiveness to destroy our country … I shared with him my grave concerns that escalating the war in Syria by implementing a so-called no fly/safe zone would be disastrous for the Syrian people, our country and the world," she said. "It would lead to more death and suffering, exacerbate the refugee crisis, strengthen ISIS and al-Qaeda and bring us into a direct conflict with Russia, which could result in a nuclear war. We discussed my bill to end our country’s illegal war to overthrow the Syrian government and the need to focus our precious resources on rebuilding our own country and on defeating al-Qaeda, ISIS and other terrorist groups who pose a threat to the American people."
ABC News' Benjamin Siegel contributed to this report.
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