Hawaiian Democrat Tulsi Gabbard announces she is running for president in 2020

Tulsi Gabbard first Hindu and American Samoan member of Congress says she'll run for president in 2020

"He asked me bluntly whether I'll run for president, and I told him straight: I've made a decision to run and will make a formal announcement next week". The 37-year-old Gabbard said in a CNN interview slated to air Saturday night that she will be formally announcing her candidacy within the week.

She is the latest to join what is expected to be a crowded Democratic primary field before the November 2020 presidential election.

According to CNN, Senator Sanders's 2016 deputy campaign manager Rania Batrice will be Ms Gabbard's campaign manager.

"The issue of war and peace" would be the main focus of her campaign, Rep. Gabbard said. "There are a lot of challenges that are facing the American people that I'm concerned about and that I want to help solve".

Gabbard sits on the House Armed Services and Foreign Affairs committees and is now a Major in the Army National Guard.

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She's also been critical of her own party, calling out Hillary Clinton's track record of supporting foreign wars during the 2016 presidential primary.

The Iraq war veteran has become the first-ever Hindu to be running for the presidency in the US.

She's also reached across the aisle to work with libertarian-minded Republicans like Sen.

"There seems to really be a lack of a coherent strategy with regards to how we, as the United States, are dealing with Iran, as we look at this threat of a nuclear-armed Iran", Gabbard said in one Fox News appearance in 2015.

Despite - or because of - her military background, she has opposed USA involvement in Syria and faced criticism for visiting that country and meeting President Bashar al-Assad. Bernie Sanders' highest-profile supporters, aligning herself with his populist economic message.

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She made waves recently for saying in a tweet that President Trump is "Saudi Arabia's bitch" for announcing the US will stand with Saudi Arabia, regardless of any intelligence community assessment on Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's involvement in the killing of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi.

Ms Gabbard's run would not be without controversy.

She listed access to health care, criminal justice reform and climate change as key issues.

Gabbard was deployed to Iraq in 2005, and she maintains her role as a member of the Hawaii National Guard. Daniel Akaka (D-Hawaii), until she again left the political world to serve in the Middle East in 2009. "I'm seriously thinking of how I can best be of service to our country", she told Concord Monitor News reporter Paul Steinhauser before meeting with Rockingham County Democrats.

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