Democrat Tulsi Gabbard met with President-elect Donald Trump on Monday (21 November) and is reportedly "under serious consideration" for a number of cabinet positions, a senior level official on the transition team revealed. Gabbard, who is known for bucking her party, defended her visit to Trump Tower as necessary to discuss foreign policy.
"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 escaping 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," the Hawaii congresswoman said, according to The New York Times.
Gabbard, an early supporter of Bernie Sanders in the primaries, added, "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 way which has already cost hundreds of thousands of lives and forced millions of refugees to flee their homes is search of safety for themselves and their families."
According to ABC News, Gabbard supports keeping Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad in power and voted in favour of a Republican bill last year to impose stricter background checks on Syrian refugees.
The 35-year-old progressive is reportedly being considered for several positions in Trump's administration, including secretary of state, secretary of defence and United Nations (UN) ambassador, ABC News reported.
If Gabbard is chosen, she would be the first woman in Trump's cabinet, as well as the youngest person appointed.
Gabbard said she was willing to work with Trump, but would not hesitate to tell him when she disagrees with him. "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..."
CNN reported that Gabbard is not the first Democrat to meet with Trump. The president-elect met with corporate education reformer Michelle Rhee, the former Washington, D.C. schools chancellor, last week. Rhee is reportedly being considered for the post of secretary of education.