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Gillibrand: A more inclusive America is a stronger America

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) tells CNN's Van Jones she hopes to see more diversity in the White House in the future.

Posted: Dec 16, 2018 7:01 PM
Updated: Dec 16, 2018 7:18 PM

Democratic Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand said she is "definitely thinking" about running for president in 2020 and will announce a decision in the near future.

"I'm definitely thinking about it, of course. And I'm going to think about it over the holidays with my children and my husband, and I will make a decision soon," Gillibrand said on CNN's "The Van Jones Show," airing at 7 p.m. ET on Saturday.

"This is sort of where my faith drives me. I do believe in these moments of great darkness — of great pain, of great suffering, of great division, of great hatred — that all of us are called to do something ... to restore what is good in our world," Gillibrand said. "And I feel very called at this moment to fight as hard as I possibly can to restore that."

When asked why she might not run for the presidency, Gillibrand said she wants to make sure her family is ready for an "arduous and serious process."

Gillibrand joins a growing field of potential Democratic candidates looking to toss their hats in the ring for 2020. According to a CNN poll this week, the top contenders include former Vice President Joe Biden, Vermont independent Sen. Bernie Sanders and Texas Rep. Beto O'Rourke.

When questioned if it worries her that the top three are all white men, Gillibrand said she hopes a woman gets to be president one day and that diversity is essential to the United States.

"I aspire for our country to recognize the beauty of our diversity in some point in the future. And I hope some day we have a woman president. ... A more inclusive America is a stronger America," Gillibrand said.

Gillibrand faced criticism for tweeting out that the future is "female" and "intersectional" on December 4, including from Sen. Marco Rubio and Donald Trump Jr., who said she was leaving out men.

Gillibrand said that critics distorted her point and that "they just don't get it."

"This just means please include the ladies in the future, because they're not really included today," she said.

Gillibrand has been outspoken about the #MeToo movement and was the first female Democratic senator to publicly issue a statement calling for Sen. Al Franken to resign following allegations that he touched women inappropriately.

Addressing criticism about her role in Franken's resignation, Gillibrand said: "Sometimes you just have to do what's right, even if it's painful ... if I can't protect the women in my workspace, if I can't — not only stand up for women who feel abused, or feel harassed in our workplace — then I'm not doing my job, and so I just got to a point where enough was enough."

Gillibrand also addressed the latest developments in the Michael Cohen sentencing and Mueller investigation and later reiterated that she thinks President Donald Trump should resign.

"Not only has the Michael Cohen sentencing really clarified how much trouble [President Trump] and his family are actually in, but it shows the depth of it -- that's it is collusion, it is fraud, it is obstruction of justice, and all those allegations are real. ... The most important thing that we can do in the Senate right now is protect the Mueller investigation," she said.

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