Bernie Sanders adviser accused of harassing female staffer in 2016

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".

A top aide for Bernie Sanders is being accused of sexual misconduct during his time in the Vermont senator's 2016 presidential campaign.

He says rhetoric about "ending sexism and ending all forms of discrimination. can not just be words".

Former campaign staffers wrote a letter to the senator in December to request a meeting with him and his advisers about "the issue of sexual violence and harassment on the 2016 campaign" in order to "mitigate the issue in the upcoming presidential cycle".

At the time the woman, who was in her 20s and wishes to remain anonymous for fear of retaliation from supporters of Sanders and Becker, chose not to report the incident because the campaign was over.

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.

Sanders had apologized before, albeit not in such a comprehensive fashion. "Our standards and safeguards were inadequate", Sanders said in a statement posted to social media. It must be a reality in our daily lives.

"Candidates who allow people like Robert Becker to lead their organizations shouldn't earn the highest office in our government", she told Politico. "Then he moved his hands to her head and forcibly kissed her, putting his tongue in her mouth as he held her, the woman and other sources said". Rather, Weaver told CNN, he'd serve as "a strategic adviser that needs to deal with some of the 30,000-foot issues as opposed to the management of a day-to-day campaign".

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". "You can't run for president of the United States unless you acknowledge that every campaign demands a safe work environment for every employee and volunteer", she added.

The allegations have cast a shadow on Sanders' potential 2020 run in a likely crowded field of Democratic contenders. Bernie Sanders continues to take hits over allegations of sexual misconduct during the 2016 campaign, supporters of the Vermont independent are planning almost 400 events across all 50 states Saturday to back another White House run.

Politico also reported that over a half-dozen staffers who worked with Becker on the 2016 campaign said there was "a pattern of other inappropriate behavior or poor management".

Sanders said that his 2018 Senate re-election campaign had more robust protections for women.

  • Jon Douglas