Bernie Sanders Apologizes to Women Who Were Allegedly Harassed During His Campaign

Bernie Sanders at a George Washington University event in Washington

"Then he moved his hands to her head and forcibly kissed her, putting his tongue in her mouth as he held her".

The reports of harassment are raising questions about whether Sanders can launch a second presidential campaign.

Sanders again Thursday denied knowledge of the alleged harassment, but top officials from his campaign have acknowledged that the gender make-up of any future campaign would need to look sufficiently different to address systemic sexism.

As detailed in a report from POLITICO published on Wednesday, top Sanders advisor Robert Becker is accused of forcibly kissing the female staffer, who is reportedly in her 20s and has remained anonymous out of fear of retribution from Sanders supporters.

"It just really sucks because no one ever held him accountable, and he kept pushing and pushing and seeing how much he could get away with", the woman said.

"Boy is that a tough answer to defend, of course", responded Todd, "because if you're running to be the president of the United States, If you can't manage a campaign how do you manage a country?"

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Becker, 50, has denied the allegations. He said he considered the allegation to be credible.

He thanked the women who did come forward with complaints of sexual misconduct and ensured that his 2018 Senate re-election campaign had "established some of the strongest sexual harassment policies in the country". Friends of Bernie Sanders also called Becker's alleged misconduct "deplorable and fundamentally unacceptable".

Politico reported Thursday morning that Sanders's former Iowa campaign manager was part of a $30,000 federal discrimination settlement with two former employees. Female staffers also claimed they were paid significantly less than their male counterparts or subordinates. "My singular concern during this entire process was to assess whether an individual would be an outstanding political organizer-no other factors played into our hiring decisions". "Yes", former Sanders campaign manager Jeff Weaver said in a statement after the allegations surfaced.

Sen. Sanders addressed the allegations on CNN in a manner that some regarded as dismissive. "And I will do my best to make that happen", Sanders said.

While Sanders is reportedly becoming more serious by the day about forging a second White House bid to challenge President Donald Trump in 2020, dozens of women and men who worked on the his 2016 presidential campaign have signed a letter requesting a meeting with the Vermont senator and his top political advisers "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", Politico reported.

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