WASHINGTON – Democrat Tulsi Gabbard announced on Friday that she would run for president in 2020, entering what is expected to be a crowded field of liberal contenders.
"I have decided to run and will be making a formal announcement within the next week," the Hawaii congresswoman said on CNN in an interview that's slated to air tonight on "The Van Jones Show."
Gabbard, who was elected to Congress in 2012, was the first Samoan-American and the first Hindu member of Congress. An Iraq veteran, Gabbard serves on the House Armed Services Committee and House Foreign Affairs Committee.
She previously served as the vice-chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee but resigned to endorse Sen. Bernie Sanders during the 2016 campaign.
"There are a lot of reasons for me to make this decision. There are a lot of challenges that are facing the American people that I'm concerned about and that I want to help solve," she said, according to CNN.
Gabbard was criticized in 2016 for traveling to Syria and meeting with President Bashar Assad, who has been accused of war crimes. She says it's important to meet with adversaries if "you are serious about pursuing peace."
The Republican National Committee, shortly after Gabbard's announcement, sent out a "cheat sheet" attacking the meeting and her bid for the White House.
Already, the pool of Democrats looking to take on President Donald Trump in 2020 is getting crowded.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., announced the start of an exploratory committee to run for president and held rallies in Iowa last week to talk with voters in the state that's the first to vote in the presidential primary. Julian Castro, Barack Obama's former Housing chief, is expected to announce his 2020 bid on Saturday in Texas.
Others, including former vice president Joe Biden, Sen. Cory Booker, Sen. Kamala Harris and former Rep. Beto O'Rourke are also said to be considering a White House run in 2020.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Democrat Tulsi Gabbard announces 2020 run for president to take on Trump