Top DNC official leaves post to back Sanders
© Greg Nash

A leader of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) announced Sunday that she is stepping down from her post to support the presidential candidacy of Sen. Bernie SandersBernard (Bernie) SandersDe Blasio headed to Iowa to speak at political fundraiser Yes, spills happen — but pipelines are still the safest way to move oil Why sexual harassment discussions include lawmakers talking about Bill Clinton’s past MORE (I-Vt.).

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Rep. Tulsi GabbardTulsi GabbardTulsi Gabbard is no snowflake Texas shooting puts scrutiny on military's criminal reporting system Overnight Defense: Details on 2 billion compromise defense bill | Space Corps dropped from bill | Mattis requests probe into Texas shooter's records MORE (D-Hawaii), who serves as a vice chairwoman of the DNC, announced her endorsement in an interview with NBC's “Meet the Press” that aired Sunday morning.

"I think it’s most important for us, as we look at our choices as to who our next commander in chief will be, is to recognize the necessity to have a commander in chief who has foresight, who exercises good judgment, who looks beyond the consequences, looks at the consequences of the actions they're looking to take, before they take those actions, so we don't continue to find ourselves in these failures that have resulted in chaos in the Middle East and so much loss of life," Gabbard said.

Gabbard is the fourth member of Congress to endorse Sanders in his battle against Democratic front-runner Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonO’Malley tells Dems not to fear Trump FBI informant gathered years of evidence on Russian push for US nuclear fuel deals, including Uranium One, memos show Pelosi blasts California Republicans for supporting tax bill MORE. She is his most high-profile congressional endorsement to date.

The Hawaii Democrat's tenure at the DNC has not been without controversy. In October, she complained she was “disinvited” from a debate after she urged the party to hold more debates. Sanders later offered her a seat with his campaign.

Gabbard has been described as one of the Democratic Party's next rising stars. Still in her first term, she is the first Hindu elected to Congress and the first person born in American Samoa. She is also one of only two female combat veterans elected to Congress.

"Today I accepted Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard's resignation as a Vice-Chair of the DNC. The Democratic National Committee is grateful for her service,” DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz said in a statement, calling Gabbard a “role model.”

“I look forward to continuing to work alongside her when our Party unites behind whoever emerges as our nominee.”

--This report was updated at 11:31 a.m.