Hawaii democrat who backed Assad, blasted Israel over Gaza, to run for president

Rep. Gabbard, who criticized Israel for using live ammunition against Gaza rioters, will announce her run for president on Saturday, according to reports. 

By David Isaac, World Israel News

Hawaii Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, who slammed Israel for using live ammunition against “unarmed protesters” and opposed removing Syrian President Bashar al-Assad from power, will formally announce her candidacy for president in a CNN interview to air Saturday night, according to reports.

“I have decided to run and will be making a formal announcement within the next week,” said Gabbard, 37, a former Iraq War veteran.

On May 14, the same day the U.S. Embassy was officially relocated to Jerusalem and the Israeli military was forced to put down violent riots on the Gaza border, Rep. Gabbard tweeted that “Israel needs to stop using live ammunition in its response to unarmed protesters in Gaza. It has resulted in over 50 dead and thousands seriously wounded.”

Hamas later admitted that 50 of the 62 people killed on May 14 and May 15 in the violence were members of its terror group.

Gabbard also met with Syrian President Assad in 2017 as part of a “fact-finding mission.”

The Hawaii congresswoman told CNN’s Jake Tapper, “Initially I hadn’t planned on meeting him… When the opportunity arose to meet with him, I did so, because I felt it’s important that if we profess to truly care about the Syrian people, about their suffering, then we’ve got to be able to meet with anyone that we need to if there is a possibility that we could achieve peace. And that’s exactly what we talked about.”

Her meeting with Assad drew criticism from Republican politicians but the Democratic leadership didn’t comment about it. Assad is considered a war criminal by the Trump administration, having used chemical weapons on his own population and been suspected of mass killings.