Sanders apologises for 2016 campaign 'harassment' allegations

Tasos Katopodis  Getty Images North America

Tasos Katopodis Getty Images North America

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.

"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 campaign was celebrating the end of Sanders' improbable run for the nomination when Becker told the woman he wanted to have sex with her and made the reference to his "pole", the newspaper said. What they experienced was absolutely unacceptable and certainly not what a progressive campaign or any campaign should be about, ' he said Thursday on Capitol Hill. But Jeff Weaver, who ran Sanders' 2016 campaign, stressed then that Becker was not doing so in an official capacity as he "doesn't work for the campaign because there is no campaign".

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".

'To the women in our campaign who were harassed or mistreated, I apologize. Sanders also said he wasn't aware of a reported $30,000 United States settlement to resolve a discrimination claim against his 2016 campaign.

Some of the top advisers to Sanders told Politico that they're working on a meeting between Sanders and those who signed a letter complaining of harassment on the 2016 campaign trail.

In his statement Thursday, Sanders admitted his 2016 campaign's "standards and safeguards were inadequate".

Initially, Sanders responded to the request with an apology "to any woman who felt that she was not treated appropriately".

But he said that his 2018 Senate re-election campaign had "established some of the strongest sexual harassment policies in the country", giving employees access to contact an independent human resources firm to voice their concerns. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), forcibly kissed a female staffer shortly after the Democratic National Convention.

Thursday, he said the country needs a "cultural revolution" in order to "change workplace attitudes and behavior".

But Becker, who is not on Sanders' payroll, has been calling potential staffers and traveling to early primary states over the past several months in moves seen as preparing for a 2020 campaign. Though the allegations against Sanders' campaign are far-reaching, the issue of sexual harassment has been pervasive across the political spectrum and beyond, as brought to light in the wake of the Me Too movement.

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