Published: Fri, January 11, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

Bernie Sanders apologizes for alleged sexual harassment, 'mistreatment' by 2016 presidential adviser

Bernie Sanders apologizes for alleged sexual harassment, 'mistreatment' by 2016 presidential adviser

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.

After the 2016 campaign, Weaver served as a spokesperson for the Sanders family during a federal bank fraud investigation into the actions of the senator's wife, Jane O'Meara Sanders, stemming from her tenure as president of Burlington College.

Sen. Sanders addressed the allegations on CNN in a manner that some regarded as dismissive.

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

Sen. Bernie Sanders apologized to women who were sexually harassed on his 2016 presidential campaign and thanked them 'from the bottom of my heart for speaking out'.

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.

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. Per the outlet, top Sanders "aides did not endorse, but did not disavow, either".

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"Candidates who allow people like Robert Becker to lead their organizations shouldn't earn the highest office in our government", the woman said. This can't happen in 2020.

Sanders's comments on Thursday were more direct and conciliatory that his initial responses to reports of the allegations. The allegation, he wrote, is "at odds with my recollection of a late evening filled with many hugs and kisses and tears and conversations about what's next".

"Sanders already faces tough primary competition from several women, including Warren, Harris, Gillibrand, and maybe even Tulsi Gabbard who was a key supporter in 2016", he said.

"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.

Amid speculation that Sanders could seek the White House again, the progressive senator has faced fallout as broader sexual harassment complaints stemming from the 2016 bid have come to light in recent weeks. Additionally, numerous women have complained they were paid less than men and forced into inappropriate and uncomfortable situations, according to The New York Times.

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.

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

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