Rep. Tulsi Gabbard on Meeting with President-Elect Donald Trump

U.S. Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02) today released the following statement on her meeting with President-elect Donald Trump regarding Syria:

“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. 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.

“Serving the people of Hawaiʻi and our nation is an honor and responsibility that I do not take lightly. 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.

“Where I disagree with President-elect Trump on issues, I will not hesitate to express that disagreement. 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. 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.”

65 thoughts on “Rep. Tulsi Gabbard on Meeting with President-Elect Donald Trump”

    1. Extraordinary & truly magnificent statement. Rumor has it, arranged by Bannon. Give her a position that will block Pompeo drivel.

  1. Excellent move by Tulsi Gabbard, for both the cause of non-intervention and as a potential way of getting through the wall the Republican establishment is attempting to throw up around Trump. Why do you think he shook up his transition team and brought all of his grown children on board? Most likely, because Trump knows he can’t trust any of the rest of them.

    1. I like Trump better because of his family loyalty. We can see that he really cares for them and they him. I like that, and yea I agree with you that he can’t trust the rest of them. The professional politicians are snakes.

        1. Funny.

          Most workaholics don’t seem to raise children well. Trump’s care for his family won over a lot of people, contradicts the media’s portrayal of him as selfish.

          1. Sure, when he cheats his contractors or the people who enrolled for his phony school he cheated them because he was being a good father.

          2. You’re just repeating bits of propaganda you’ve read. A member of the Cult of Clinton I assume.

          3. Another of the mouth breathers who think that any of the bad things Trump does are just lies made up by Hillary supporters.

            Is it possible that both are corrupt and neither would have been a good choice?

            Just because I’m not a member of your cult, doesn’t mean I a member of some other cult.

          4. OK, well glad you’re not in the Hillary cult at least.

            I would agree with certain criticisms of Trump, but his “cheating” of contractors appears justifiable.

            And the school thing started out well. It originally hired top professors.

          5. Come on, Luch. I’ve had enough interaction with you on this board to know you’re too smart to really believe that. Trump has been recognized as a crook well before he started pretending to be a politician. He was cheating people back when he was still a Killary supporter (not sure which crime’s worse.)

          6. On policy, I tend to believe what you’d expect of a Justin Raimondo (hetero) groupie :p

            I think some of the accusations against Trump are unwarranted, especially the above attacks. And I didn’t know much about Trump before he ran, certainly don’t like that he was a tv star.

            I would start my defence arguing Trump is cleaner than the Clintons and Bushes. I’ll reserve my attacks against him for when he goes foul on foreign policy. If some issue of corruption does arise, or if Trump has an affair while in office (he and Giuliani do like to dress in drag), I wouldn’t much care to be honest.

            Perhaps Antiwar is consistently critical of our corrupt society, but the general society is judging Trump by a double standard.

            Jill Stein is currently raising money for a recount (information gleaned from Raimondo’s feed). That is questionable to me. Gary might not be corrupt, but he’s not right in the head. Stein was the shining example that maybe someone has principles.

            We never hear such harsh criticism of other presidential candidates. If Trump proposed nuking Iran and Syria, supported TPP, and spoke well of Bush and Clinton, he’d be loved by mny of his current critics. (Notice: I don’t mention immigration. I’m cleverly targeting my audience. I don’t think Trump is remotely racist though.)

          7. I don’t deny for a second that there is a double standard and that the Bush and Clinton dynasties make anything Trump’s done look like shoplifting from Target on Black Friday. I guess you could say I’m a purest. I still believe in peace and anarchy and a stateless society, you know, “maybe I’m a dreamer but I’m not the only one….” kind of sh*t. I’d like to believe Trump is the kind of guy you think he is but I’m just not seeing it. I really do hope I’m wrong. Either way, happy holidays from one malcontent to another.

            P.S. I like to dress in drag too, then again so did J. Edna Hoover, so not all queens are born equal.


  2. I totally agree with Tulsi with respect to foreign policy and Trump should heed her advice and not the advice from the extremist neocons.

  3. If Trump appoints Tulsi, he will be a Machiavellian genius!

    This would win over the Bernie supporters and Greens. In the US, everyone is polarized. You’re either in camp Blue or in camp Red. Trump is breaking all the categories!

    Plus, Tulsi seems like a good pick on her own. I wouldn’t like Haley as a pick, for example.

    And while on some level I’m paranoid that the Left wants to put me in a Stalinist camp, I acknowledge that most Leftists are likely good people. It’s just their bosses I don’t like. So, Tulsi, being from blue state Hawaii (where average Joe is a Democrat but not a card carrying Commie), seems like a good pick to me from what I’ve seen.

    1. “This would win over the Bernie supporters and Greens.”

      Well, it would at least intrigue them. I doubt that it would win them over (and I certainly hope it wouldn’t).

      A former DNC vice-chair in a Trump administration would certainly make waves.

          1. I’m a conservative. I expect the worst and am happy not to have a Satanic Neocon in his stead. Ideally I’d like a noninterventionist, because I see no positive in any of our overseas involvement.

    2. Mike Pence won’t let it happen sadly. I’m not even totally sure Trump would either. He’s still got a lot of twisted shit to answer for in order to get this leftist’s support but appointing Tulsi would be a hell of a start. It would definitely make me think twice about the crazy bastard. But like I said, I don’t see it happening.

      1. No one knows what Trump really believes or really intends.

        We’ve just got to wait to see what he does.

        Even were he to pick Tulsi, she could then be condemned for cooperating with him. American politics, and perhaps democracy in general, is party mythology and religion. There seems to be no place for truth and reality in a democracy.

  4. Gabbard would be an excellent choice for Secretary of State. The CIA chief will need to be someone else for there to be true synergy and actual change in direction. Ray and Phil need to make an appearance here…

  5. I tell my Hillary worshipping friends that I voted for Trump because he was the peace candidate. They don’t get it.

      1. I guess that’s why Hillary won the election, eh? Oh well, once she puts that no-fly zone in Syria, WWIII will kill us all anyway, so it’s a moot point.

        1. No, I understand that Trump won the election.

          In fact, I publicly predicted at least as early as June 1st that he would win the election, carrying every state Mitt Romney carried plus Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Florida (I didn’t predict he’d also win Iowa and Wisconsin).

          He was not “the peace candidate” or anything close to it.

          1. Sure. And their were literally millions of choices for write-in candidates who would have been more peacelike. But there were exactly two candidates who made up the pool we were going to draw our next president from–two candidates for president. Trump was the peace candidate in that pool. Just ask Jill Stein.

          2. Stein admitted that Killary is worse. I agree with her on that. But if she truly believed that Trump was a “peace candidate” she wouldn’t have ran against him.

          3. Of the two, Trump was the peace candidate. And Stein didn’t run against Trump. For all practical purposes, she ran against Hillary, and helped him win.

          4. I suppose if you stand anyone next to a mass murderer they can look like a pacifist. BTW most of the people who voted for Stein would have voted for Johnson if she didn’t run and wouldn’t have voted at all without a third option. I include myself in this group.

          5. That strikes me a almost unfathomably spiteful and irrational. Hillary’s promise to install a no-fly zone in Syria–among other things–made a vote for Trump absolutely essential.

          6. I’m a pacifist. A vote for any man or woman who promises war is unfathomably spiteful and irrational to me. Just because Trump promised LESS war doesn’t make voting for him any more morally exceptable. I’d rather abstain from voting in protest than put my thumbprint on a mandate for a lesser killer. My vote isn’t for sale.

          7. He consistently sticks with rejecting nation building, which is something.

            At times I think Trump didn’t fully mean positions he took, but I hope he connects dots and fully embraces Trumpism by rejecting NATO, upholding Iran deal, exiting Syria, Iraq, Ukraine, and Afghanistan.

            He mentioned talking with N Korea. My fear is Trump will lack the confidence to boldly seek peace there and elsewhere. I’ve written elsewhere, maybe here also, that the Sea of Japan should be an area of peace and trade, even if the rest of the world can’t get along. They each have so much to gain if just reducing tensions, booting America out…

          8. Will Trump be suckers for Giuliani and company or were Trump supporters suckers knowing he consorted with Giuliani and company? Will Trump advocate for less war and more peace? The portents are still quite cloudy.

          9. It’s not a question of whether Trump supporters were suckers. There was no other choice besides Trump.

            We had Trump vs. insane usual politics. Obviously I voted against insanity.

            If the other candidates wanted my vote, they should have run on Trump’s platform. Because of Trump and Sanders, the other candidates did shift positioning, but it wasn’t believable. Trump, for all his faults, was the most believable candidate, which isn’t to say anyone believed in him fanatically. And many of the attacks on Trump were unfair. Such as Trump making fun of handicapped person: He’s made fun of many others previously in the same exact generic manner, so it’s unlikely he meant it as a mocking of the handicap. So many little criticisms of him combined made him look bad, but those weren’t his real faults.

            Hillary wanted WWIII or at least Cold War II… And she only recently condemned Iraq War, and she was bad on trade. And the immigration numbers are ridiculous. She ran as Hitler/Stalin essentially. Trump at least said he wasn’t Hitler/Stalin.

            I did admittedly like Trump better than I’ve liked any previous mainstream presidential candidate, but that doesn’t mean I believed in him. He was the best calculated bet.

          10. Knapp4DarrylWPerry until the LP nominated Johnson, for whom I reluctantly voted.

            Neither Trump nor Clinton nor Bush were ever remotely close to being choices for anyone who gave a rat’s ass about peace.

          11. It was down to Hillary vs. Trump. Hillary was significantly worse than Trump on foreign affairs.

            The reason most seem to have not voted for Trump is out of a desire to be trendy. Maybe that’s not true of you, but it’s rather annoying how voters are swayed by a desire to be cool…

  6. Tulsi is a Democrat from a solidly blue state. Sure, she should cooperate with Trump when appropriate (just as Bernie plans to do), but she’s crazy if she goes into a Trump administration. She’ll burn all her bridges to the Democratic Party and find herself in a party where the religious right will have no patience with a practicing Hindu.

    She should stick with the Democrats and be patient. Mazie Hirono is in her late sixties and Tulsi’s just turned 35, so there’s a Senate seat that could open in the next decade when she’ll still be in her forties. And she could spend time in the next couple years campaigning nationally for Democratic congressional and even state candidates, build up some name recognition, and possibly get the vice-presidential nomination in 2020.

    Working with Trump when he’s right, fine. But joining his administration will be a career-ender for her.

    1. Tulsi already burned bridges when she rejected Killary. The Democrats are in decline. Tulsi will be fine with Trump.

    2. The religious right is a declining force in the GOP, the alt right doesn’t mind Hinduism in the same way they would Islam, and normie conservatives would get on board were she given the Trump seal of approval due to her veteran status. I doubt her religion is going to be made an issue, especially if she does a good job in a Trump admin.

  7. It is heartening to see a Washington political figure come out strongly against the “regime change” policies that our Government — both Republican and Democratic — has been disastrously pursuing for the past many years. Whether Rep. Gabbard is offered or accepts a position in the Trump Administration is less important than her courageous stand against stupid, harmful and counterproductive “regime change” activities by the US. As a Korean War veteran who has seen all too many ill-advised US military interventions in other nations’ internal affairs over the past half-century, I applaud Rep. Gabbard for making this stand for peace in our time.

  8. Imagine that. A congress critter that knows what the words “non-interventionism” mean. A Democrat, to boot, talking about working with Trump in that regard. Color me impressed.

    Just wait till some aged party hack whispers in her ear how things really work in DC, “to get the welfare, you gotta go along with the warfare.”

  9. Becareful of this Siren’s Song. As I recall there was a vet from another war who throw away his military medals in protest. Where is this vet today? He is the current SoS.

    Just as other Presidents have been led astray by their pro war appointees Trump needs to listen to other people about foreign policy. If Rep Gabbard can get both D’s and R’s in Congress to push a non interventionist agenda great. A first step would be cut off all weapon sales to any ME country.

  10. Not everyone meeting with Trump right now wants a job in his Administration. Some want a policy from his Administration.

    It is an old rule of lawyering to get in there first. Be the first to make a plea deal. Be the one to form the judge’s first impression, so the other guy must move him.

    She is timing it right, while doing as Bernie has suggested. Good on her. Wise.

  11. One difference between Trump and Bush/Obama is that it doesn’t look like the former wants to leave office in disgrace and disrepute, while the latter couldn’t care less what the world thinks of them.

  12. Wow…. What a great patriot she is.. If the two of them can at least get along and strengthen the “STOP SUPPORTING THE JAHADDI TERRORISTS” (AKA as HILLARIES FOREIGN LEGION). I hope the Trump Gifford vibes were good and not like people walking on the new ice of of Trump administration policy….. as in.. “Don’t step to heavily or try any sharp high speed turns… We here should give/ express our happiness that Trump gave her any face time whatsoever. Our new president is beginning to look to be a far broader man than the media.would ever admit could be…..

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