‘Not good enough’: Warren, Biden hit Bloomberg over non-disclosure agreements

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and former Vice President Joe Biden hit Mike Bloomberg after the former New York City mayor said he would release three women from nondisclosure agreements (NDAs) with him if they asked.

Warren said the effort is “just not enough” and that he should release every woman with whom he has an NDA.

“Michael Bloomberg needs to do a blanket release so that all women who have been muzzled by nondisclosure agreements, can step up and tell their side of the story in terms of what Michael Bloomberg has done,” she said on the campaign trail. “If he wants to be the Democratic nominee and he wants to be president of the United States, then he’s going to have to be fully transparent on this issue.”

Warren also expressed skepticism regarding Bloomberg’s claim that he only had the agreements with three women, suggesting he was “limiting” the number known to the public.

“If there are only three, then why didn’t he sign a blanket release?” she said. “If he’s limiting the number, then you can’t know if there are three or 30 or 300. And that should not be in the control of Michael Bloomberg.”

Biden echoed Warren’s call, saying that transparency was needed over reports that Bloomberg oversaw a hostile work environment at Bloomberg LP, his company.

“Horror stories abound in the public record about the culture at Bloomberg LP under Mayor Bloomberg’s leadership, as do deeply concerning accounts of his own statements toward women employees there,” said Kate Bedingfield, Biden’s campaign manager.

“Today’s release essentially tells the public nothing — we don’t know how many women signed these NDAs, what percentage of NDAs this represents, or what categories of signed NDAs exist that are excluded,” she continued. “It is well past time for Mayor Bloomberg to dispense with tricks and come clean with everyone he’s asking to vote for him about this very important part of his record.” 

The broadsides came after Bloomberg cleared the way Friday for three women believed to have accused him of sexist or misogynistic comments to be released from the agreements.

“If any of them want to be released from their NDA so that they can talk about those allegations, they should contact the company and they’ll be given a release,” Bloomberg said in a statement.

“I’ve done a lot of reflecting on this issue over the past few days and I’ve decided that for as long as I’m running the company, we won’t offer confidentiality agreements to resolve claims of sexual harassment or misconduct going forward,” he said. 

The former mayor was slammed with criticism from Warren at Wednesday night’s debate in Las Vegas over the NDAs when she pressed him to clarify the number of such arrangements that existed and to allow every woman to speak publicly. He said at the time he would not, and that the agreements were made “consensually.” 

The nondisclosure agreements, among other issues such as his past support for stop and frisk, appear to be politically poisonous for Bloomberg. A Morning Consult poll conducted entirely after Wednesday’s presidential debate showed the former mayor’s national support stalling and his favorability ratings falling.

Tags 2020 election Bloomberg L.P. Elizabeth Warren Elizabeth Warren Joe Biden Joe Biden Michael Bloomberg Michael Bloomberg Non-disclosure agreement

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