Senate

McCaskill: I was sexually harassed as a congressional intern

Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) said Tuesday that she was sexually harassed "more than once" when she interned on Capitol Hill more than 40 years ago.

"I will tell you I interned here in college, and I was definitely sexually harassed as an intern in Congress back in the summer of 1974," McCaskill told reporters on Tuesday, according to the Washington Examiner.

McCaskill said she didn't report the harassment and wouldn't elaborate on if a staffer or lawmaker had harassed her, but said it "happened more than once from more than one person."

"It was something that I felt like I have to choose between my career and coming forward," she said.

McCaskill said that her colleagues in the Senate have been supportive, "but that doesn't mean young people aren't being victimized."

"I think what we're doing now is we are turning a page in this country and hopefully empowering young people to realize just because the person who has treated you inappropriately has more power than you do, it will be OK if you come forward."

In a separate interview with NBC News, the former prosecutor said she learned to avoid situations where she might be cornered by a harasser.

"When I was an intern, I learned to avoid elevators, because elevators were when you were captured. And so, after one unfortunate incident in the elevator, I began taking the stairs," McCaskill said.

Several female lawmakers have also come forward to reveal that they were sexually harassed by members of Congress.

McCaskill's comments come as lawmakers push for mandatory sexual harassment training in Congress amid accusations of sexual misconduct against politicians and Hollywood stars.

The House Administration Committee held a Tuesday hearing on the subject, with one lawmaker saying at least two of her current colleagues have engaged in sexual harassment.

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