As a government official, presidential candidate, and private citizen, Hillary Clinton has assumed a leadership role as a feminist and champion of women's rights. She is now facing a backlash even from supporters, however, about how she handled a sexual harassment complaint from a young woman against an older man within her 2008 Democratic presidential primary campaign against then-Senator Barack Obama.
According to a report published late last week, the 30-year-old woman accused Clinton's faith adviser, who sent the candidate biblical verses every morning, of harassing her in the office that they shared. The New York Times broke the story how Clinton supposedly shielded the alleged offender from possible termination, which apparently has surfaced as a result of the ongoing #MeToo movement revelations.
In 2016, the same man was fired as head of an independent group supporting Clinton's candidacy against Donald Trump allegedly "for workplace issues, including allegations that he harassed a young female aide," according to three people with ties to that organization, the Times added.
In response to the Times article, Hillary Clinton's camp put out a statement that the 2008 campaign took appropriate action in response to the complaint. Clinton subsequently tweeted that she was "dismayed" when the 2008 incident occurred and noted that the woman's concerns were addressed at the time. A second tweet indicated she called the victim after the Times story appeared to tell her how proud she was of her for coming forward.
Patti Solis Doyle, Clinton's former campaign manager, told CNN this week that she investigated the situation at the time and found the women's allegations credible, but that her recommendation to fire the top aide "was overruled." In the interview embedded below, Solis Doyle also acknowledged that terminating a high-profile staffer would have become a distraction if it had made it into the news cycle, the Daily Caller noted.
Perhaps feeling the heat, Hillary Clinton revisited the matter and authored a 1,500-plus word Facebook post yesterday in which she admitted that she would have fired the alleged offender if she had a do-over. Insisting that supporting and empowering women constitutes her life's work, Hillary Clinton tried to explain her reasoning at the time.
"In the end, I decided to demote him, docking his pay; separate him from the woman; assign her to work directly for my then-deputy-campaign manager; put in place technical barriers to his emailing her; and require that he seek counseling. He would also be warned that any subsequent harassment of any kind toward anyone would result in immediate termination. I did this because I didn't think firing him was the best solution to the problem. I believed the punishment was severe and the message to him unambiguous...I also believe in second chances..."
The Times wrote in its expose that the campaign adviser never went to the required counseling sessions.
Clinton also threw some shade on the Times over the news organization having to suspend, rather than fire, and then reinstate a journalist (with a new assignment) over sexual harassment allegations. Starting with the tawdry and disturbing Harvey Weinstein misconduct scandal, the news media, government, the entertainment industry, and sports have been engulfed in sexual harassment allegations, which, as alluded to above, prompted both the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements. Movie mogul Weinstein is also a longtime fundraiser and donor for the Democrats with close ties to the Clintons. Five days after the scandal broke in October 2017, Hillary Clinton issued a statement through her publicist condemning his behavior.
Parenthetically, women such as Juanita Broaddrick, Paula Jones, or Kathleen Willey, who have accused Bill Clinton of sexual misconduct, claim that Hillary Clinton was anything but supportive of them, and instead tried to intimidate them from coming forward as well as seeking to undermine their reputations.
Watch the CNN interview below with Patti Solis Doyle, Hillary Clinton's ex-campaign manager, about the sexual harassment issue during the 2008 presidential campaign.