Sen. Bernie Sanders' top 2016 campaign adviser accused of sexual misconduct

by Garry Watts January 13, 2019, 1:06
Sen. Bernie Sanders' top 2016 campaign adviser accused of sexual misconduct

As Sanders and surrogates explore a 2020 presidential bid, more than a dozen former female and male staffers who worked on the 2016 campaign signed a letter requesting a meeting with Sanders and his leadership team "to discuss the issue of sexual violence and harassment on the 2016 campaign, for the objective of planning to mitigate the issue in the upcoming presidential cycle".

On Thursday afternoon, Sanders released a statement on Twitter, admitting that "there were some women who were harassed or mistreated". What they experienced was absolutely unacceptable and certainly not what a progressive campaign or any campaign should be about, ' he said Thursday on Capitol Hill. He added that he was unaware of any negative behavior during his campaign because "I was little bit busy running around the country trying to make the case".

"To the women in that campaign who were harassed or mistreated I apologise". "Our standards, our procedures, our safeguards, were clearly inadequate".

The adviser, Robert Becker, who oversaw Sanders's campaign in Iowa, Michigan, California and NY, and served as the deputy national field director, had allegedly grabbed a woman in her let 20s by her wrists and forcibly kissed her at a restaurant in Philadelphia.

"I categorically deny these allegations of improper and unprofessional conduct", Becker said in a statement.

The harassment allegations "speak to unacceptable behavior that must not be tolerated in any campaign or any workplace", Sanders said. The incident was not formally reported at the time because the campaign had concluded.

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"I was little bit busy running around the country trying to make the case", Sanders told CNN on January 2. Three other people who witnessed the incident or were told about it shortly after confirmed the account to Politico.

So she told senior Sanders advisers, including 2016 campaign manager Jeff Weaver, what happened. Nevertheless, said Bannon, "I think he will run".

"Candidates who allow people like Robert Becker to lead their organizations shouldn't earn the highest office in our government", she told Politico.

As 77-year-old Sanders explores another presidential bid, several reports came out last week about several women supporters of Sanders who suffered in a hyper-masculine atmosphere during the 2016 campaign.

NBC's Chuck Todd excoriated one of the most popular frontrunners for the Democratic nomination to run against President Donald Trump in 2020, and said it was the worst start to a possible campaign.

But he said that his 2018 Senate re-election campaign had "established some of the strongest sexual harassment policies in the country", giving employees access to contact an independent human resources firm to voice their concerns.

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