President-elect Donald Trump is meeting on Monday with Democratic Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard from Hawaii who was an ardent supporter of Bernie Sanders during the presidential campaign.
The two will be meeting in Trump Tower in New York, and while there is no indication as to what is on the agenda, at least one New York Times reporter tweeted that Gabbard was under consideration for U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations.
Tulsi Gabbard — Democrat, Sanders supporter and combat veteran — is under consideration for UN ambassador, per senior Trump aide
— Jeremy W. Peters (@jwpetersNYT) November 21, 2016
Other reports suggest that in addition to a U.N. position, Gabbard is being considered for jobs at the Defense Department, and State Department.
Gabbard stepped down from her post as a vice chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee earlier in the year to support Sanders — and fight Hillary Clinton — in the primaries. She stood by Sanders through the Democratic convention, only announcing she would vote for Clinton days after the convention ended.
The Congresswoman is reportedly a favorite of Steve Bannon, Trump’s chief strategist and senior counsel, because of her stances on guns, refugees and Islamic extremism. She also fits with the general admiration that Bannon has with anyone who stirs the pot or can be considered a ‘populist.’ He admires both Senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren on that basis and for their effect on stoking distaste for trade deals.
Gabbard is not the first Democrat with whom Trump has met nor who is under consideration. Michelle Rhee, the former chancellor of schools in D.C., and corporate education reformer is also in the running for a post. Like Gabbard, Rhee does not squarely fit in with Democrats by any means as among other things, she is widely disliked by teacher unions. However, she fits relatively squarely with Bannon’s mindset.
However, while speculation is running high, on the campaign trail, Trump did promise that he would not include any Dems in his cabinet. So far, while he has met with moderate Republicans regarding some posts, his pattern has been to return to hardliners when it comes to decision time.
The meetings with moderate Republicans and Democrats may just be strategy on Bannon’s part to create a façade of open-mindedness in order to garner support from Congress. The hardline appointments would also be a better match for Trump’s personality which seems to be consistent with his language — operating in extremes.