The Daily Beast reports: Democratic Rep. Tulsi Gabbard has been a rising star in progressive circles, which makes her meeting Monday with President-elect Donald Trump highly unusual, at least at first glance.
But the Hawaii congresswoman has also been a defender of Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad and Russia’s Vladimir Putin — stances that align with the incoming administration’s foreign policy.
Gabbard, a favorite of incoming White House senior counselor Steve Bannon, is the first congressional Democrat approached to have a face-to-face meeting with Trump—and the first Bernie Sanders supporter to do so as well. Sensing criticism from the left for taking a meeting with Trump, she put out a statement in which she justified her foreign policy meeting as necessary so that the left and right could find “common ground.”
But she also included pro-Assad apologia in the mix, arguing that the United States should not confront Russia because it could lead to conflict and indicating that the Assad regime should remain in place, calling any attempts to remove him as “illegal.” [Continue reading…]