Speaking with CNN's Jake Tapper in 2017, Gabbard said she didn't intend on meeting Assad during her visit to the war-torn country.
She announced her candidacy for the presidential elections in Hawaii, a state she represents in Congress, saying she would stand up to "powerful, self-serving politicians and greedy corporations".
Gabbard is an Iraq War veteran who gained national prominence in 2016.
She then endorsed Sanders for president, becoming one of the few members of Congress to do so.
Gabbard officially announced her campaign last week after serving as one of Hawaii's representatives since 2013. She opposes removing Assad from power.
Tulsi Gabbard Officially Kicks Off 2020 Campaign
Gabbard, who met with Assad during a 2017 "fact-finding" mission in Syria told MSNBC's Morning Joe Wednesday he is not an enemy of the USA, despite the ruthless leader having used chemical weapons against opposition forces inside his own country. During her first 12-month tour, she received the Meritorious Service Medal and during her second tour, she was commissioned as a second lieutenant after graduating from the Accelerated Officer Candidate School at the Alabama Military Academy.
Democratic nominating contests begin in February 2020.
Questioned about her stance on Assad by NBC News' Kasie Hunt, Gabbard, one of Hawaii's two House members, said Assad is not an enemy of the USA because, she said, he does not pose an immediate threat to the country. The candidate who amasses the majority of delegates will be nominated at the party's convention in the summer and will likely face Republican President Donald Trump in November's general election. The sudden reveal reportedly came as a shock to the congresswoman's team, sending it rushing to firm up her campaign's infrastructure including its website and publicity.
In the spring of 2017, Gabbard said she had stopped accepting defense industry money. In 2012, she was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives. In other words, Morgan used his own fake Russian accounts to lie to the public and deceive the national media into believing that Kremlin-linked accounts were trying to defeat the Democratic Senate candidate when, in fact, the accounts he was citing were ones he himself had fabricated and controlled.
Gabbard also serves on the House Financial Services Committee, where she fights for the nation's financial, banking, and housing policies to serve the American poeople - not Wall Street and special interests.
Newport goalie's Day made as he sprints off pitch for twins' birth
He sprinted off, it's the quickest I've seen him move, but all our thoughts are with Joe and Lizzy and the arrival of the twins. Brentford will travel to Swansea City for an all-Championship clash after seeing off non-league outfit Barnet 3-1.