Democratic Rep. Tulsi Gabbard said she would drop all U.S. charges against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and pardon NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden if elected president in 2020.
"It was a kind of a warning call, saying, 'Look what happened to this guy. It could happen to you.' It could happen to any one of us."
—Rep. Tulsi Gabbard
During an appearance on the "Joe Rogan Experience" podcast on Monday, the congresswoman from Hawaii called Assange's arrest and possible extradition to the United States a "great threat to our freedom of the press and to our freedom of speech."
"The fact that the Trump administration has chosen... to ignore how important it is that we uphold our freedoms, freedom of the press and freedom of speech, and go after [Assange], it has a very chilling effect on both journalists and publishers," Gabbard said.
"And you can look to those in traditional media and also those in new media, and also every one of us as Americans," Gabbard added. "It was a kind of a warning call, saying, 'Look what happened to this guy. It could happen to you.' It could happen to any one of us."
Gabbard went on to say she was "shocked" by the mass surveillance Snowden uncovered and answered in the affirmative when asked if she would pardon the whistleblower, who faces charges of espionage.