Campaign

Former Klobuchar staffers complain of mistreatment, temper: report

Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) is facing scrutiny over her treatment of congressional staff and her workplace demeanor, just days ahead of her decision about whether she will run for president in 2020.

A number of former staffers who worked for Klobuchar spoke anonymously to BuzzFeed News, accusing the senator of often berating staff over small mistakes and creating a hostile work environment.

BuzzFeed interviewed eight former aides and reviewed dozens of emails.

A spokesperson for Klobuchar did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Hill.

BuzzFeed reported that Klobuchar often yelled, threw papers and flung objects and aides were regularly left in tears, citing four former staffers.

One staffer was hit with a binder, though Klobuchar did not mean to hit the person, somebody who saw the incident told the publication.

"I cried. I cried, like, all the time," one former staffer told BuzzFeed.

Klobuchar will announce her decision about whether she will run for the Democratic presidential nomination on Sunday in Minneapolis.

She's been considering a presidential run for months, but has signaled a likely bid amid news that she'll be headlining a local Democratic banquet in Iowa on Feb. 21.

In emails reviewed by BuzzFeed, Klobuchar told staff their work was "the worst in ... years," and "the worst in my life."

In several emails, she reportedly criticized staffers, writing in all capital letters, after they made what they believed to be small mistakes or misunderstood her.

However, BuzzFeed also quoted staff who defended her.

 

 

Some previous aides spoke to BuzzFeed on the record to defend and praise Klobuchar as a boss.

Kali Cruz, who worked in Klobuchar's office during her first Senate term, said that the Minnesota Democrat "cared deeply for me as her staffer," adding that Klobuchar threw a baby shower for Cruz when she was pregnant.

A campaign spokesperson also defended Klobuchar.

"Senator Klobuchar loves her staff - they are the reason she has gotten to where she is today," the campaign spokesperson for Klobuchar told BuzzFeed.

"She has many staff who have been with her for years - including her Chief of Staff and her State Director, who have worked for her for 5 and 7 years respectively, as well as her political advisor Justin Buoen, who has worked for her for 14 years - and many who have gone on to do amazing things, from working in the Obama Administration (over 20 of them) to running for office to even serving as the Agriculture Commissioner for Minnesota."

The BuzzFeed story comes on the heels of a report from The Huffington Post that three potential candidates to lead her nascent presidential campaign declined the job, citing the mistreatment of staff.

If Klobuchar jumps into the race, she will be the fifth U.S. senator to run for president, joining Sens. Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Kamala Harris (D-Calif.).

She'd be the second presidential candidate to hail from the Midwest, though Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) is still considering a bid and currently touring early primary states.

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