Bernie Sanders Apologizes to Women Who Were Allegedly Harassed During His Campaign

11 January, 2019, 17:08 | Author: Sheila Harris
  • Sanders Apologizes for Harassment Among 2016 Campaign Staff

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".

"I thank them, from the bottom of my heart, for speaking out", Sanders wrote in a statement.

He projected more contrition on Thursday, saying that "our standards, our procedures, our safeguards, were clearly inadequate".

Though the allegations against Sanders' campaign are far-reaching, the issue of sexual harassment has been pervasive across the political spectrum and beyond, as brought to light in the wake of the Me Too movement.

Sanders' new apology comes after Politico reported on an allegation a female campaign staffer made against Robert Becker, who oversaw Sanders' Iowa campaign and other operations.

Later that even, Becker allegedly approached the woman, grabbed her wrists, and forcibly kissed her.

More than two dozen women have come forward with allegations against campaign staffers.

A top adviser for Bernie Sanders' 2016 presidential campaign stands accused of forcibly kissing a woman staffer and making a reference to her riding his "pole" at a hookah bar after the Democratic National Convention had concluded, Politico reported Wednesday.

"It just really sucks because no one ever held him accountable and he kept pushing and pushing and seeing how much he could get away with", she added. This can't happen in 2020.

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No charges have been filed.

Democratic presidential candidate Sen.

"We are addressing what happened on the Bernie campaign but as people that work in this space we see that all campaigns are extremely risky to women and marginalized people and we are attempting to fix that", the campaign staffers wrote.

"During the process of routine background checks being conducted, I would occasionally be asked to review potentially questionable or damaging social media posts of potential hires", Becker said in reply to that allegation.

Friends of Bernie Sanders, the senator's principal campaign committee, told Politico in a statement that "Robert Becker would not be a part of any future campaigns". They claimed that, when they detailed those concerns to campaign superiors, they were sometimes ignored, and in one case, laughed off.

Allegations that male members of his campaign had harassed and discriminated against female campaign workers have been circulating for weeks as the senator weighs a potential second presidential run. A former Sanders delegate called the culture an "entire wave of rotten sexual harassment that seemingly was never dealt with".

The woman said she informed Sanders's 2016 campaign manager Jeff Weaver of the alleged assault.

Initially, Sanders responded to the request with an apology "to any woman who felt that she was not treated appropriately".

Thursday, he said the country needs a "cultural revolution" in order to "change workplace attitudes and behavior".

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