Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) confirmed in an interview with CNN on Wednesday that she met with Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad during a recent trip to the country.
Gabbard told Jake Tapper on CNN’s “The Lead” that she “hadn’t planned” on meeting Assad, but took the “opportunity” when it came up.
“Bashar al-Assad is responsible for thousands of deaths and millions of people being displaced during this five-year-long civil war,” Tapper said. “Did you have any compunctions about meeting with somebody like that, giving him any sort of enhanced credibility because a member of the United States Congress would meet with someone like that?”
“Whatever you think about President Assad, the fact is that he is the president of Syria,” Gabbard replied. “In order for any possibility of a viable peace agreement to occur, there has to be a conversation with him.”