Barbara Boxer recounts harassment on Capitol Hill: ‘The entire audience started laughing’

Former Sen. Barbara BoxerBarbara Levy BoxerThe ‘bang for the buck’ theory fueling Trump’s infrastructure plan Kamala Harris endorses Gavin Newsom for California governor Dems face hard choice for State of the Union response MORE (D-Calif.) on Wednesday shared her experience with sexual harassment on Capitol Hill, saying it was a "shaming" and "belittling" incident.

Boxer said on MSNBC that when she was a member of the House in the 1980s, she was humiliated by inappropriate comments from her colleagues at a hearing after she presented a bill.

"One of my colleagues said after I spoke, 'I want to associate myself with the comments of the congresswoman from California,’ which is exactly the right thing to say," Boxer said.

ADVERTISEMENT

"But then he went on and said, 'In fact, I want to associate with the congresswoman from California,' at which point the entire audience started laughing."

The committee chairman added, “I want to associate with her, too," Boxer recalled. She said that she "turned bright red."

Boxer joined a number of current and former lawmakers speaking out this week about their experiences with sexual harassment on Capitol Hill. Several lawmakers introduced a bill Wednesday that would overhaul congressional sexual harassment policies.

“This doesn’t compare to some of the dreadful stories we’re hearing,” Boxer said of her experience, comparing it to stories of physical attacks.

“But it was so humiliating and disempowering, and luckily I’m a strong person.”