"I have made a decision to run [for president] and will be making a formal announcement within the next week", she told CNN's Van Jones.
Gabbard sits on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, where she is able to influence USA foreign policy. In response, Gabbard wrote on Twitter that "being Saudi Arabia's bitch is not 'America First'".
Gabbard said although her "main issue" will be "war and peace", she will push for combating climate change, reforming the criminal justice system, and providing healthcare for all Americans. "I look forward to talking with you more about this in the coming days". Bernie Sanders at a time when most party officials were backing Hillary Clinton.
On foreign policy, Gabbard is considered to be anti-interventionist.
Tulsi Gabbard is often hailed as a progressive champion. "It is long overdue that we end USA complicity in Saudi Arabia's atrocities", Gabbard said of the hot button issue.
The previous Democratic president, Barack Obama, was also raised in Hawaii, and is the only president who was born in the island state.
The telegenic Gabbard has been a frequent guest on cable TV, in part due to her willingness to go against the grain on occasion.
She's also got a chance to be a strong candidate. While her support for Sanders' economic message may turn off libertarians for obvious reasons, it's hard to imagine there being anyone in either major party primary who will be more critical of America's wasteful and seemingly endless post-9/11 wars. Gabbard has praised Egyptian strongman Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, who Trump called a "fantastic guy".
In 2015, Gabbard addressed the Christians United for Israel summit, and that same year said that while the U.S. remained a strong ally of Israel, the two countries diverge on how best to prevent a nuclear Iran, lamenting after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addressed Congress that the issue was being used as a "political football".
An article in The Intercept last week led to a debate after it described Gabbard as "a polarising figure" whose "progressive domestic politics are at odds with her support for authoritarians overseas, including [Prime Minister Narendra] Modi, [Egyptian President Abdel Fattah] Sisi, and Syria's Bashar al-Assad".
Gabbard would eventually support the Iran nuclear deal, while becoming one of few Democrats to back legislation making it harder for Syrian refugees to enter the United States.
Republican National Committee spokesman Michael Ahrens dismissed Gabbard's White House announcement, saying that the Hawaii Democrat has no voter base.
"There is no force more powerful than love", Gabbard said.
Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii) has settled speculation about her political ambitions with her announcement that she'll run for president in the 2020 election.