Clyburn on disparity in responses to sexual allegations: ‘Who elected them?’

Greg Nash

Amid criticism of disparity between elected officials accused of sexual harassment and individuals in other industries, Rep. James Clyburn (D-S.C.) on Wednesday said what makes the difference is that politicians are elected to their positions.

In a new video shared by NBC News producer Alex Moe, Clyburn and Congressional Black Caucus Chairman Cedric Richmond (D-La.) are confronted by reporters asking why high-profile members of the movie industry and media have lost their jobs recently, most almost immediately, due to sexual misconduct allegations but members of Congress have not.

“Other men in other industries have faced similar accusations, and have gotten out of the way — resigned, stepped down far faster than he has,” a reporter said in the video, referring to Rep. John Conyers Jr. (D-Mich.). 

{mosads}”I don’t know, you would have to give me some examples,” Richmond responded. 

“Harvey Weinstein, Charlie Rose, Matt Lauer,” reporters said. 

“Who elected them?” Clyburn said before getting on an elevator. The doors closed before he could clarify the remark.

The comments come as Conyers continues to face backlash in the face of sexual misconduct allegations, but has yet to step down. 

Conyers stepped aside as ranking member of the House Judiciary Committee earlier this week after acknowledging that he settled a wrongful dismissal complaint in 2015. He has denied the sexual harassment allegations made against him.

Pressure on Conyers to step down is mounting from three of his Democratic colleagues, which include Reps. Kathleen Rice (D-N.Y.), Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) and Earl Blumenauer (Ore.). Many other Democratic colleagues have cautioned that the allegations have yet to be proven. 

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) is working with members of the CBC to push Conyers to step down, according to a senior aide.

Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) is also facing sexual misconduct allegations and has since said he will work to regain the public’s trust. He vowed over the weekend that “this will not happen again going forward.”

Lauer is the latest high-profile man to be accused of sexual misconduct in a wave of accusers coming forward in multiple industries. He was fired from NBC on Wednesday, the same day the allegations came to light.

Tags Al Franken Cedric Richmond Earl Blumenauer James Clyburn; Harvey Weinstein; Matt Lauer; Al Franken; John Conyers; Charlie Rose John Conyers Kathleen Rice Nancy Pelosi Pramila Jayapal

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