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Tulsi Gabbard at the 2016 Democratic National Convention. Photo: Aaron P. Bernstein/Getty Images

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii) is an Iraq War veteran who has bucked the Democratic establishment on a few high-profile occasions. During the 2016 primary, she resigned as vice chair of the DNC to throw her support behind Sen. Bernie Sanders. She also met with President Trump during his transition — and joined Republicans in promoting the use of the phrase "radical Islam."

Key facts about Gabbard
  • Current position: Congresswoman from Hawaii since 2013
  • Age: 37
  • Born: Leloaloa, American Samoa
  • Undergraduate: Hawaii Pacific University
  • % of votes in line with Trump, per FiveThirtyEight: 21.7%
  • Previous roles: Hawaii state legislature, Hawaii Army National Guard, Senate legislative aide, Honolulu City Council
Gabbard's stance on key issues
  • Green New Deal: No stated position, but proposed a bill in 2017 to transition to 100% renewable energy to generate electricity by 2035.
  • Medicare For All: Supports. Said that she doesn't want to eliminate private insurance.
  • Abortion: Told the Rubin Report: "Unless a woman's life or severe health consequences is at risk, then there shouldn't be abortion in the third-trimester."
  • Education: She wants to get rid of tuition and fees at 4-year public colleges and universities. She also supports free community college tuition for everyone.
  • Also Sanders-esque: She has spoken about reducing the role of money in politics and has called for a reduced military presence in the Middle East.
  • Big business: Supports breaking up big banks, per her campaign website.
Key criticism of Gabbard
  • Syrian President Bashar al-Assad meeting: In what her office called a "fact-finding" mission, Gabbard made a secret trip to Syria in January 2017 and met with Assad. There are questions about the Arab American organization that funded the trip. She has also met with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi.
  • Her LGBTQ record: When she was young, she worked for her father's anti-gay organization, and when running for state legislature in 2002, she talked up her support for her father's efforts to ban same-sex marriage in Hawaii. She has since apologized, saying that those positions were a result of her conservative upbringing.
  • "Extreme vetting" vote: She voted with congressional Republicans on an Obama-era bill that would place "extreme vetting" measures on Iraqi and Syrian refugees.
1 fun thing about Gabbard
  • She is the first American Samoan and first Hindu member of Congress.

Go deeper: Everything you need to know about the other 2020 candidates

Go deeper

Updated 19 mins ago - Health

California surpasses 50,000 COVID-19 deaths

A man prepares a funeral arrangement in in Los Angeles, California, Feb. 12. Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

California's death toll from COVID-19 surpassed 50,000 on Wednesday, per Johns Hopkins data.

The big picture: It's the first state to record more than 50,000 deaths from the coronavirus.

2 hours ago - Technology

Facebook bans Myanmar military

A protester holds a placard with a three-finger salute in front of a military tank parked aside the street in front of the Central Bank building during a demonstration in Yangon, Myanmar. Photo by Aung Kyaw Htet/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Facebook said on Wednesday it would ban the rest of the Myanmar military from its platform.

The big picture: It comes some three weeks after the military overthrew the civilian government in a coup and detained leader Aung San Suu Kyi, causing massive protests to erupt throughout the country. Military leaders have been using internet blackouts to try to maintain power in light of the coup.

It's harder to fill the Cabinet

Data: Chamberlain, 2020, "United States of America Cabinet Appointments Dataset" Chart: Will Chase/Axios

It's harder now for presidents to win Senate confirmation for their Cabinet picks, an Axios data analysis of votes for and against nominees found.

Why it matters: It's not just Neera Tanden. The trend is a product of growing polarization, rougher political discourse and slimming Senate majorities, experts say. It means some of the nation's most vital federal agencies go without a leader and the legislative authority that comes with one.