Drip, Drip, Drip: Ex-Sanders Staffer Accuses Top Aide Of Sexual Assault

11 January, 2019, 08:28 | Author: Wade Massey
  • Sanders Apologizes for Harassment Among 2016 Campaign Staff

While Sanders is reportedly becoming more serious by the day about forging a second White House bid to challenge President Donald Trump in 2020, dozens of women and men who worked on the his 2016 presidential campaign have signed a letter requesting a meeting with the Vermont senator and his top political advisers "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", Politico reported. And I thank them from the bottom of my heart for speaking out. "What they experienced was absolutely unacceptable and certainly not what a progressive campaign or any campaign should be about", Sanders said. "Our standards and safeguards were inadequate".

The staffer, Robert Becker, who helped lead Sanders's campaign in Michigan, New York, California and Iowa as a deputy national field director, has been accused of grabbing a female campaign staffer by her wrists and grabbing her head while kissing and putting his tongue in her mouth, Politico reported Wednesday.

Becker, 50, has denied the allegations.

The woman did not report the incident at the time, but was prompted to when Becker took on another prominent role in Sanders' 2020 efforts, shoring up potential staffers - including his alleged victim - and making trips to the early voting states.

Sanders, who said his 2018 re-election campaign to the U.S. Senate enacted more stringent and efficient policies to deal with sexual harassment, added that there needs to be a "cultural revolution" in America to fundamentally change the way women are treated in the workplace.

Trump himself has been accused by several women of sexual misconduct, but has denied the allegations.

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Weaver told Politico that "without getting into the specifics of an incident where the woman involved has not given me express permission to speak, I only became aware recently".

"I was a little bit busy running around the country trying to make the case", he said.

His remarks came after The New York Times and Politico published articles with allegations of sexual harassment and misconduct pertaining to the 2016 campaign. They added: "To be clear: no one who committed sexual harassment in 2016 would be back if there were a 2020 campaign".

The Vermont independent is confronting the allegations against some of his senior staff as he weighs a second run for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2020.

Asked about the accusation, Friends of Bernie Sanders, the senator's main campaign committee, told Politico that "Robert Becker would not be part of any future campaigns". 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.

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