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) SandersOvernight Defense: Senate passes 0B defense bill | 3,000 US troops heading to Afghanistan | Two more Navy officials fired over ship collisions Senate passes 0B defense bill Dems fear lasting damage from Clinton-Sanders fight MORE (I-Vt.).

ADVERTISEMENT
Rep. Tulsi GabbardTulsi GabbardThe OFF Act will mandate a swift and just transition to clean energy House panel approves 6.5B defense policy bill Jane Sanders starts group to boost ‘progressive voices’ 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 ClintonBiden slams Trump over golf gif hitting Clinton Overnight Cybersecurity: Equifax hit by earlier hack | What to know about Kaspersky controversy | Officials review EU-US privacy pact Overnight Tech: Equifax hit by earlier undisclosed hack | Facebook takes heat over Russian ads | Alt-right Twitter rival may lose domain 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.