GOP rep: 'No way' for member-staffer relations 'not to turn out badly'

Amid the series of recent stories of sexual misconduct against prominent men, one GOP lawmaker says it’s always a bad idea for politicians to engage in intimate relationships with their staffers, even consensually. 

"I really have a problem with the idea that a member would ever, ever, ever have sexual relations with someone that's under their direct supervision ... There's no way for that not to turn out badly," Rep. Bradley ByrneBradley Roberts ByrneRight revolts on budget deal House passes landmark bill to overhaul sexual harassment policy on Capitol Hill Democrat forces vote over GOP lawmaker's poster on House floor MORE (R-Ala.) says in a new interview. 

"Now, in the private sector, we tell people all the time, if you're a supervisor or manager and you want to get fired, go have a relationship with one of the people you supervise," he added. 

The longtime labor attorney, who specialized in employment discrimination, spoke to The Hill before allegations came to light that Rep. John Conyers Jr. (D-Mich.) settled a wrongful dismissal complaint from a former staffer who says she refused his sexual advances.

Byrne is pressing for changes in how Congress deals with sexual harassment charges so that members follow the same rules as the private sector. 

The House Ethics Committee has announced it will be investigating the claims against Conyers.

Asked if he is surprised by the recent spate of sexual harassment revelations against powerful men in Congress, the media and Hollywood, Byrne quickly responded “no.”

"There [are] certain parts of our society that feel like — that they're above the rest of us and don't have to comply with the same rules that the rest of us do ... So it's like you've got two different worlds out there. I think the American people have every right to expect that we're going to have one world, one set of rules," Byrne said. 

Watch the video above to hear Byrne in his own words.