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Sanders apologises after new harassment allegation surfaces
11 January 2019, 05:10 | Glen Norman
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Politico reported Thursday morning that Sanders' national field director, Robert Becker, had allegedly sexually harassed and assaulted another female staffer on the night of the Democratic National Convention in 2016.
According to Wednesday reports, Jeff Weaver will not lead the potential campaign despite being a longtime member of Sanders' inner circle and managing his 2016 campaign for president.
Amid mounting allegations that his 2016 presidential campaign was plagued by sexual harassment, Vermont senator Bernie Sanders issued a formal apology to the women, thanking them for speaking out and lamenting that his campaign's "standards and safeguards were inadequate".
He continued, "To the women in that campaign who were harassed or mistreated I apologize".
"Candidates who allow people like Robert Becker to lead their organizations shouldn't earn the highest office in our government", she said in a statement.
Politico had previously reported "that a 20-something female staffer said she was forcibly kissed by a top Sanders adviser at a bar in Philadelphia on the final night of the Democratic National Convention". This can't happen in 2020. The incident was not formally reported at the time because the campaign had concluded.
Becker, who is now 50, dismissed the accusations, saying they are "at odds with my recollection of a late evening filled with many hugs and kisses and tears and conversations about what's next".
"To be clear: no one who committed sexual harassment in 2016 would be back if there were a 2020 campaign", added the statement.
"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. Becker, however, said he was just tasked with reviewing "potentially questionable or damaging social media posts of potential hires".
In an interview Wednesday, former campaign manager Jeff Weaver told the network that he had never meant to manage a potential 2020 campaign. Additionally, numerous women have complained they were paid less than men and forced into inappropriate and uncomfortable situations, according to The New York Times. "I apologize", Sanders tweeted on Thursday.
Initially, Sanders responded to the request with an apology "to any woman who felt that she was not treated appropriately".
Sanders' principal campaign committee, Friends of Bernie Sanders, called Becker's alleged conduct "deplorable and fundamentally unacceptable" and announced that Becker "would not be a part of any future campaigns".
"Clearly we need a cultural revolution in this country to change workplace attitudes and behavior".
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