President-elect Donald Trump met today with Hawaii Democratic Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, who is reportedly being considered for a job in the Trump administration.
Gabbard released a statement after the meeting saying that she was invited by Trump to the meeting, where she had a “frank and positive” discussion with Trump about Syria, the battle against terrorism and other policy issues.
Gabbard’s statement did not say whether there is any specific job she is seeking in the Trump administration.
Erika Tsuji, a spokeswoman for Gabbard, on Friday denied rumors that Gabbard is being vetted for a Trump administration post, saying that Gabbard “just got re-elected and is focused on serving Hawaii’s 2nd Congressional District.”
However, according to a tweet this morning from CNN’s Sara Murray, “a source tells me she’s under consideration for State, Defense & UN Ambassador.”
The New York Times, citing an unidentified senior Trump aide, said Gabbard is being considered for several positions, including ambassador to the United Nations.
Gabbard said in her statement today that “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.
“While the rules of political expediency would say I should have refused to meet with President-elect Trump, I never have and never will play politics with American and Syrian lives.”
McClatchyDC.com reported that Gabbard met with Trump and Vice President-elect Mike Pence this morning, but Trump spokesman Jason Miller said it was “premature” to discuss Gabbard’s potential role in the Trump administration.
Gabbard was a strong supporter of Vermont U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders during the Democratic primary, but eventually shifted her support to Clinton after the primary.
The representative of Hawaii’s 2nd Congressional District at times has been a critic of the Obama administration’s handling of issues related to Islamic extremism, and Gabbard has won praise from Stephen Bannon, who is Trump’s chief strategist.
Gabbard said in her statement that “serving the people of Hawaii and our nation is an honor and responsibility that I do not take lightly. Representing the aloha spirit and diversity of the people of Hawaii, 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.
“Where I disagree with President-elect Trump on issues, 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.
“President-elect Trump and I had a frank and positive conversation in which we discussed a variety of foreign policy issues in depth. 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. 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.”