Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii, is holding her presidential campaign kick-off rally in Honolulu.
"Join me in building a movement for peace at home and overseas that will fulfil the promise of America for freedom, justice, equality, and opportunity for all".
In November 2016, Duke tweeted that Gabbard was a representative of a "political realignment" he hoped to see in the U.S. - and called for Donald Trump to appoint her secretary of state. "There is no battle we can not win", said Gabbard, who is not of Indian descent but comes from a Hindu family in Hawaii.
Gabbard, was born in American Samoa, growing up in Hawaii, where she was elected to the State Legislature in 2002 at the age of 21, and volunteered to be deployed for two tours of duty in the Middle East as a member of the Hawaii National Guard.
Former Democratic presidential candidate Howard Dean called Gabbard's views "a disgrace" and said she was unfit to be in Congress.
Politico noted Gabbard had met in 2017 with the Syrian leader.
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Even though Gabbard was criticized for her past comments on the LGBT community, one supporter said he believes her change of heart. She served on the Homeland security and foreign affair committees.
During Wednesday's "Morning Joe" on MSNBC, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) lashed out at NBC News for running a report saying the same Russian Federation propaganda machine that tried to hack the 2016 presidential election is backing Gabbard's 2020 run.
"If you can not say he's an adversary or an enemy, what is Assad to the U.S.?"
To reduce Gabbard to some kind of Russian stooge, as NBC did, would mean buying into the idea that it's implausible for someone who has seen war close up to want to avoid it if other alternatives exist. Gabbard said they discussed her meeting with Assad and stressed the importance of meeting "with adversaries or potential adversaries, not just our friends, if we are serious about the pursuit of peace".
Democratic nominating contests begin in February 2020. She also grew up in a socially conservative household and, as a very young woman, she participated in her activist father's campaigns against the legal recognition of same-sex partnerships as marriage. The candidate who amasses the majority of delegates will be nominated at the party's convention in the summer and will likely face Republican President Donald Trump in November's general election.
In 2017 she expressed skepticism over the Trump administration's conclusion that Assad's government was behind a chemical weapons attack that killed dozens in Syria. The rest of the Democrats will be accusing each other of deviationism over trivialities.