Bernie Sanders apologizes to 2016 campaign aides who complained of sexual harassment

Bernie Sanders apologizes to 2016 campaign aides who complained of sexual harassment

Kerry Wise
January 13, 2019

Bernie Sanders, who is mulling a presidential bid in 2020, apologized to the women who say they were harassed while working on his 2016 campaign.

"It now appears that as part of our campaign there were some women who were harassed or mistreated", Sanders wrote in a message he tweeted out Thursday afternoon to his almost 9 million followers.

The Vermont independent said on Capitol Hill that the alleged misconduct by male aides "was absolutely unacceptable and certainly not what a progressive campaign or any campaign should be about".

He apologized "to any woman who felt that she was not treated appropriately, and of course if I run, we will do better next time", but went on to say that he was unaware of the allegations because he "was a little bit busy running around the country trying to make the case".

"Our standards, our procedures, our safeguards, were clearly inadequate, " Sanders said.

Politico reported Wednesday that a top adviser on the campaign had forcibly kissed a female subordinate after the 2016 Democratic National Convention.

The campaign was celebrating the end of Sanders' improbable run for the nomination when Becker told the woman he wanted to have sex with her and made the reference to his "pole", the newspaper said.

Rep. Ocasio-Cortez's campaign paid $1,500 fine to NY state
Republicans jumped on the revelations, telling the newspaper that the episode reveals "hypocrisy at its finest" by Ocasio-Cortez. Instead, the open downstate NY slot on the House Ways and Means Committee went to a moderate Democrat, Long Island Rep.

The harassment allegations "speak to unacceptable behavior that must not be tolerated in any campaign or any workplace", Sanders said.

She said she felt compelled to speak out after Mr Becker travelled to SC in December on a trip to recruit future campaign workers for Mr Sanders.

In a Tweet early Thursday afternoon, Sanders issued an apology.

Becker grabbed the same woman's wrists later in the night, then moved his hands to her head and forcibly kissed her, putting his tongue in her mouth, according to the woman and other sources. They added: "To be clear: no one who committed sexual harassment in 2016 would be back if there were a 2020 campaign". Rather, Weaver told CNN, he'd serve as "a strategic adviser that needs to deal with some of the 30,000-foot issues as opposed to the management of a day-to-day campaign".

The New York Times on January 2 published accounts from women who worked for the campaign complained of sexual harassment and pay disparities.

'I categorically deny these allegations of improper and unprofessional conduct.' The alleged assault, he wrote in a statement, is 'at odds with my recollection of a late evening filled with many hugs and kisses and tears and conversations about what's next'.

The People for Bernie Sanders and Organizing for Bernie, political action committees unaffiliated with a possible Sanders campaign, announced on Thursday that the 400 events prove there is already "an army of community led organizers already ramped up to put him miles ahead of other candidates in the 2020 race". He outlined what steps his 2018 Senate re-election campaign had taken to prevent sexual harassment, including training on the issue for all employees.