Photo: Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images

Presidential candidate Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii) declined to call Syria's President Bashar al-Assad a war criminal during a CNN Town Hall interview with Dana Bash Sunday.

What she's saying: “I think that the evidence needs to be gathered, and as I have said before, if there is evidence that he has committed war crimes, he should be prosecuted as such."

The big picture: Gabbard met with Assad when she made a secret trip to Syria in 2017. In February, she told MSNBC: "Assad is not the enemy of the United States because Syria does not pose a direct threat to the United States." But Gabbard told Bash she believed her past comments on Assad had been misunderstood.

Biggest anecdote: "There have been reports showing that chemical weapons have been used in Syria, both by the Syrian Government as well as different terrorist groups on the ground in Syria," Gabbard told Bash. "The skepticism and the questions that I raised were very specific around incidents that the Trump Administration was trying to use as an excuse to launch a U.S. Military attack in Syria."

Go deeper: Tulsi Gabbard: Everything you need to know about the 2020 candidate

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1 hour ago - World

China-Iran deal envisions massive investments from Beijing

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

China and Iran have negotiated a deal that would see massive investments flow into Iran, oil flow out, and collaboration increase on defense and intelligence.

Why it matters: If the proposals become reality, Chinese cash, telecom infrastructure, railways and ports could offer new life to Iran’s sanctions-choked economy — or, critics fear, leave it inescapably beholden to Beijing.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 7 p.m. ET: 13,048,249 — Total deaths: 571,685 — Total recoveries — 7,215,865Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 7 p.m. ET: 3,353,348— Total deaths: 135,524 — Total recoveries: 1,031,856 — Total tested: 40,282,176Map.
  3. World: WHO head: There will be no return to the "old normal" for foreseeable future — Hong Kong Disneyland closing due to surge.
  4. States: Houston mayor calls for two-week shutdownCalifornia orders sweeping rollback of open businesses — Cuomo says New York will use formula to determine if reopening schools is safe.
  5. Education: Los Angeles schools' move to online learning could be a nationwide tipping point.

House Judiciary Committee releases transcript of Geoffrey Berman testimony

Geoffrey Berman. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

The House Judiciary Committee on Monday released the transcript of its closed-door interview with Geoffrey Berman, the former top federal prosecutor in Manhattan who was forced out by Attorney General Bill Barr last month.

Why it matters: House Democrats have seized on Berman's testimony, in which he claimed the attorney general sought to "entice" him into resigning so that he could be replaced by SEC chairman Jay Clayton, to bolster allegations that the Justice Department has been politicized under Barr.