Women allege sexual harassment while working on Clinton, Sanders campaigns: report
A former organizer for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign and a former volunteer for Sen. Bernie Sanders’s (I-Vt.) 2016 White House bid say they were the victims of sexual harassment while they were working for the candidates, according to a Huffington Post report on Friday.
The allegations come in the midst of a wave of sexual harassment charges in the political realm.
Clinton did not comment to the Huffington Post on the story. Sanders’ office acknowledged that while interns and employees on his campaign would have been given a handbook on sexual harassment, volunteers were not, and that that policy would be changed going forward.
Lilian Adams started as an intern for Clinton’s campaign, before moving to Colorado to work as a paid organizer for Clinton’s bid and the state Democratic Party, according to the report. For months, she told HuffPost, she experienced harassment, including remarks about her sexual orientation, from an unnamed man also working on the campaign.
That alleged harassment only got worse over time, she said.
“He made multiple comments about my body, told people we were dating, would constantly try to get me to drink (I was 19), try to force me into situations where we were alone, encouraged me not to wear bras, etc.,” Adams told HuffPost.
Adams told her superiors about the matter, and eventually pressed them to take action. Her alleged harasser was fired shortly after that, but was eventually hired to work with a different state party.
“So he was technically fired but still ended up working for Hillary via the [other state] Democratic Party,” she said.
Zoey Jordan Salsbury, who became the president of American University Students for Bernie in 2015, said that she experienced harassment from an unnamed intern who was her main point of contact on the Vermont senator’s presidential campaign.
That intern allegedly began making unwanted advances on Salsbury, but she found herself unsure of how to report the behavior, because the Sanders campaign did not have an internal infrastructure for volunteers to deal with such matters.
Salsbury posted about the matter on social media this month, and said she was contacted first by a former digital media manager and then by a lawyer named Bernice Johnson Blessing, who had reached out on behalf of the campaign.
“It firmly felt like the kind of call you make when you’re trying to feel out if someone has the interest and/or standing to bring a lawsuit,” Salsbury told the Huffington Post.
In a statement to HuffPost, Sanders said that he does “not tolerate sexual harassment.”
Several lawmakers have called for a crackdown on sexual misconduct in congressional offices, and have come forward with their own experiences with sexual harassment and assault in an effort to promote change.
Copyright 2023 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.