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Bernie Sanders apologizes to female campaign staff who experienced harassment
13 January 2019, 07:30 | Darnell Patrick
Bernie Sanders at a George Washington University event in Washington
"What they experienced was absolutely unacceptable and certainly not what a progressive campaign, or any campaign, should be about". "The allegations speak to unacceptable behavior that must not be tolerated in any campaign or any workplace".
"To the women in our campaign who were harassed or mistreated I apologize", Sanders said at a news conference Thursday.
"When we talk about ending sexism, and ending all forms of discrimination, those beliefs can not just be words, " Sanders said. It must be a reality in our daily lives. In 2016, as the size of our campaign exploded we made efforts to make it a positive experience for people.
Over two dozen 2016 campaign staff alumni wrote a letter seeking a meeting with Sanders 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". Bernie Sanders' 2016 presidential bid, has been accused of forcibly kissing a younger female subordinate during the campaign.
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.
CNN reported on Wednesday that Jeff Weaver, the longtime Sanders confidant and 2016 campaign manager, will not return to the role he held in 2016 should Sanders made a decision to run again, and Friends of Bernie Sanders confirmed this to VTDigger.
During an unrelated event on Capitol Hill Thursday, Sanders told reporters that he had not been aware of the $30,000 settlement, according to the Post.
"Candidates who allow people like Robert Becker to lead their organizations shouldn't earn the highest office in our government", she said. The incident was not formally reported at the time because the campaign had concluded.
The woman did not report the incident at the time since the campaign was finished but has come forward now as Becker has been involved with potential 2020 groundwork.
She then contacted the 2016 campaign manager Jeff Weaver and told him what happened to her.
Mr Becker denies any harassment, and no criminal charges have been filed.
"I categorically deny these allegations of improper and unprofessional conduct", wrote Becker in a statement, the alleged behavior is "at odds with my recollection of a late evening filled with many hugs and kisses and tears and conversations about what's next", he said.
The Vermont senator's campaign committee, Friends of Bernie Sanders, said Becker "would not be a part of any future campaigns".
Weaver said his position on the campaign will be changing, most likely to senior strategic adviser.
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