Bernie Sanders apologizes to 2016 campaign aides who complained of sexual harassment

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Senator Bernie Sanders apologized Thursday to women who said they were subjected to sexual harassment or misconduct while working for his 2016 presidential campaign. "What they experienced was absolutely unacceptable and certainly not what a progressive campaign, or any campaign, should be about..."

"When we talk about ending sexism, and ending all forms of discrimination, those beliefs can not just be words, " Sanders said.

This comes after Politico reported on Thursday that a young woman has accused a former top aide on Sanders' 2016 presidential campaign of forcibly kissing her.

"I categorically deny these allegations of improper and unprofessional conduct", Becker said, adding that the alleged assault is "at odds with my recollection of a late evening filled with many hugs and kisses and tears and conversations about what's next". Becker had begun making preparations for another campaign and calling around to staffers when the woman came forward, and other staffers came out with similar stories, causing him to lose his position on the campaign.

She chose to speak out after Becker reportedly contacted her and other potential staffers regarding a 2020 presidential run by Sanders and visited early primary states. "I apologize", Sanders tweeted.

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

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 must be a reality in our daily lives. Sanders is already putting together a campaign. "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". 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". The New York Times reported last week that a Latino outreach strategist for the campaign complained to a supervisor that she had been harassed by a campaign surrogate.

NBC's Chuck Todd excoriated one of the most popular frontrunners for the Democratic nomination to run against President Donald Trump in 2020, and said it was the worst start to a possible campaign.

Allegations of sexual misconduct and an "untenable and unsafe dynamic that developed during [the Sanders] campaign" have dogged the Vermont senator in recent weeks, according to Politico. He did tout the work done on his 2018 Senate reelection campaign, which "established some of the strongest sexual harassment policies in the country".

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