US Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard said in a televised interview on Wednesday that she met Bashar Al-Assad when she went to Syria in last January.

“Initially, I hadn’t planned on meeting him. When the opportunity arose to meet with him, I did so because I felt it’s important that if we professed to truly care about the Syrian people, about their suffering, then we’ve got to be able to meet with anyone that we need to if there’s a possibility that we could achieve peace,” Gabbard told CNN.

Speaking to Washington Post, Gabbard’s spokeswoman Emily Latimer said “She felt it was important to meet with a number of individuals and groups including religious leaders, humanitarian workers, refugees and government and community leaders.”

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