Democratic Rep Who Took Secret Trip to Syria Condemns Trump's Military Strike

Tulsi Gabbard met with Assad in January

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, (D., Hawaii) / AP
April 7, 2017

Democratic Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (Hawaii), who in January went on a secret trip to Syria and met with the country's leader, Bashar al-Assad, condemned U.S. military strikes against a Syrian government airbase in a statement late Thursday, claiming President Trump "acted recklessly."

"It angers and saddens me that President Trump has taken the advice of war hawks and escalated our illegal regime change war to overthrow the Syrian government," Gabbard said. "This administration has acted recklessly without care or consideration of the dire consequences of the United States attack on Syria without waiting for the collection of evidence from the scene of the chemical poisoning."

The U.S. military on Thursday night fired 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles from the Mediterranean Sea at a Syrian government airbase in Homs, killing at least six people. The strikes were in response to Tuesday's chemical weapons attack on the town of Khan Sheikhoun in Idlib Province in northern Syria, where more than 100 noncombatants were killed, including children.

The Trump administration has said the Assad regime was behind the attack, which was launched from the base the U.S. military targeted.

Gabbard was quick to condemn the assault and said an investigation needs to be conducted to see who was responsible for the gas attack, despite the U.S. government and many analysts saying Assad was behind it.

Gabbard has been an outspoken critic of America's Syria policy for years, arguing Washington should work with Assad to bring stability to the country. She has come under fire for taking an undisclosed "fact-finding trip" to Syria, where she met with Assad in January.

The Hawaii Democrat did not provide advanced warning about her trip to House Speaker Paul Ryan (R., Wis.) or House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.), despite it being standard practice to do so. She also did not comply with House ethics rules by not filing necessary forms disclosing who paid for her trip as well as who else she may have met with in the war-torn country.

The Assad regime has used chemical weapons on Syrian civilians in the past and has worked with Russian forces in bombing civilian infrastructure, including hospitals.