Tulsi Gabbard says she has chose to run for president and will hold a formal announcement within the next week.
Gabbard, 37, enters what's likely to be a crowded Democratic field.
Rumors of her run for president have circulated in recent months.
More recently, she was one of the few public officials who refused to immediately blame the Syrian government for the horrific chemical attack that killed dozens of people, including children, in April. She ended up being a backer of Sen.
In recent weeks, Massachusetts Sen.
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A number of other potential Democratic candidates, including heavyweights like former Vice President Joe Biden and Vermont Sen.
Since being elected to the House, Gabbard became the vice-chair of the Democratic National Committee, but left the post so she could endorse Senator Bernie Sanders for the 2016 presidential nomination; she gave the nominating speech putting his name forward at the 2016 national convention.
Gabbard has earned her right to be critical of those conflicts. Gabbard didn't use any names, but the description applied to questions asked by Senators Hirono and Harris. Rania Batrice, who was a deputy campaign manager for Bernie Sanders in 2016 and is now a top aide to Gabbard, will be her campaign manager, CNN reported.
Gabbard positioned herself as one of President Barack Obama's fiercest critics over his handling of the so-called Islamic State. She questioned whether he was responsible for a chemical attack on civilians that killed dozens and led the U.S.to attack a Syrian air base. In 2017 she received criticism for meeting with Bashar al-Assad.
She listed access to health care, criminal justice reform and climate change as key issues. Though Gabbard has been aligned with Trump over some aspects of Middle East policy ― including whether the USA should provide support for Syrian militias fighting Assad ― she recently called Trump "Saudi Arabia's bitch" for his failure to react to the Saudi killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
Gabbard is now serving her fourth term in congress after being elected in 2012 to the US House, serving Hawaiʻi's 2nd District. "Liberals think she's too conservative, conservatives think she's too liberal, and just about everyone thinks her coziness with Bashar al-Assad is disturbing", said Ahrens.