NEW YORK, NY – U.S. Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard today released the following statement on her meeting with President-elect Donald Trump.
Gabbard stated the meeting had to do with Syria, although media reported the meeting was in regards to a possible cabinet position.
“President-elect Trump asked me to meet with him 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,” Gabbard said in a media release. “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,” Gabbard added.
Rep. Gabbard just won re-election to the U.S Congress. She was on Hawaii Island on Veterans Day, when she delivered the keynote speech at a ceremony in Volcano.
“Serving the people of Hawaiʻi and our nation is an honor and responsibility that I do not take lightly,” Gabbard said in her statement. “Representing the aloha spirit and diversity of the people of Hawaiʻi, 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.”
Gabbard, a Democrat and early supporter of Bernie Sanders in his bid to win the party’s nomination, said she would not let the political divide in Washington hamper a dialogue.
“Where I disagree with President-elect Trump on issues, I will not hesitate to express that disagreement,” Gabbard said. “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,” Gabbard added. “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.
“For years, the issue of ending interventionist, regime change warfare has been one of my top priorities. This was the major reason I ran for Congress—I saw firsthand the cost of war, and the lives lost due to the interventionist warmongering policies our country has pursued for far too long.
“Let me be clear, I will never allow partisanship to undermine our national security when the lives of countless people lay in the balance.”