Clinton posts explanation for not firing campaign staffer accused of sexual harassment

Clinton posts explanation for not firing campaign staffer accused of sexual harassment
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Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonOvernight Defense: Trump declares border emergency | .6B in military construction funds to be used for wall | Trump believes Obama would have started war with North Korea | Pentagon delivers aid for Venezuelan migrants Sarah Sanders says she was interviewed by Mueller's office Trump: I believe Obama would have gone to war with North Korea MORE on Tuesday gave an explanation for why she didn't fire a top aide on her 2008 campaign who was accused of sexual harassment by a fellow staffer.

Just minutes before President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump nominates ambassador to Turkey Trump heads to Mar-a-Lago after signing bill to avert shutdown CNN, MSNBC to air ad turned down by Fox over Nazi imagery MORE’s first State of the Union address, Clinton posted a lengthy explanation on her Facebook page, in which she said that she would not make the same choice if faced with the situation again.

“The most important work of my life has been to support and empower women,” Clinton wrote. “I’m proud that it’s the work I’m most associated with, and it remains what I’m most dedicated to. So I very much understand the question I’m being asked as to why I let an employee on my 2008 campaign keep his job despite his inappropriate workplace behavior.”

“The short answer is this: If I had it to do again, I wouldn’t,” she added.

The New York Times reported last week that Clinton had protected the staffer, her then-senior faith adviser, after learning that he was accused of inappropriately touching and sending suggestive emails to another staffer.

Clinton originally responded to the Times’s report in a tweet, saying that she called the woman involved to tell her that she was “proud” of her for coming forward at the time and that all women “deserve to be heard.”

In her Facebook post, Clinton explained that her campaign manager at the time recommended that the adviser be fired from the campaign. Clinton writes that she asked “for steps that could be taken short of termination” and made the decision to demote him, dock his pay and move both him and the accuser to different areas of the campaign. The staffer was fired years later from his job at a pro-Clinton PAC over similar harassment allegations.

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“I didn’t think firing him was the best solution to the problem,” Clinton said of the staffer. “He needed to be punished, change his behavior, and understand why his actions were wrong. The young woman needed to be able to thrive and feel safe. I thought both could happen without him losing his job.”

“I’ve been given second chances and I have given them to others,” Clinton wrote. “I want to continue to believe in them.”

“When faced with a situation like this, if I think it’s possible to avoid termination while still doing right by everyone involved, I am inclined in that direction,” she added. “I do not put this forward as a virtue or a vice — just as a fact about how I view these matters.”

On Facebook, Clinton elaborated on her phone call with the accuser, saying the woman “expressed appreciation that she worked on a campaign where she knew she could come forward without fear” and felt that her accusations were taken seriously and dealt with appropriately.

“It was reassuring to hear that she felt supported back then — and that all these years later, those feelings haven’t changed,” Clinton wrote.

She also called out The New York Times for reinstating reporter Glenn Thrush after he was accused of sexual harassment.

“A decade from now, that decision may not look as tough as it feels today,” she said of the Times’s decision.

“We can’t go back, but we can certainly look back, informed by the present,” she wrote. “We can acknowledge that even those of us who have spent much of our life thinking about gender issues and who have firsthand experiences of navigating a male-dominated industry or career may not always get it right.”