Nevada Dem says he won’t resign despite calls from party leaders

Nevada Dem says he won’t resign despite calls from party leaders
© Greg Nash

Rep. Ruben KihuenRuben Jesus KihuenMembers spar over sexual harassment training deadline Nevada Dem sanctioned for sexual misconduct announces city council bid Dem gains put Sunbelt in play for 2020 MORE (D-Nev.) said Tuesday he will not resign from his post amid allegations of sexual harassment from a former staffer.

Kihuen asserted in an ABC News interview that party leaders knew last year about the woman’s allegations of sexual misconduct, but did not take action against his campaign.

A woman who previously worked as the finance director for Kihuen alleged that she was harassed by the Nevada Democrat while working on his 2016 campaign, BuzzFeed reported last week.

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House Minority Leader Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiThe Hill's Morning Report - In exclusive interview, Trump talks Biden, Iran, SCOTUS and reparations Lawmakers 'failed us' says ICE chief Pelosi, Democratic leaders seek to quell liberal revolt over border bill MORE (D-Calif.) and Rep. Ben Ray Lujan (D-N.M.), who leads the House Democrats' campaign arm, have called on Kihuen to step down.

“They looked into them. They didn’t find anything, and they continued investing millions of dollars in my campaign. They went out there and campaigned for me,” Kihuen said of Pelosi and Lujan.

Spokespeople for both Pelosi and Lujan disputed Kihuen’s claim, saying both representatives learned of the allegations last week.

The woman in BuzzFeed's story, identified only as Samantha, accused the freshman congressman of repeatedly asking her on dates and for sex, despite her rejecting the advances. She also said he touched her thighs twice without her consent.

"The staff member in question was a valued member of my team," Kihuen said in a statement following the initial BuzzFeed report. "I sincerely apologize for anything that I may have said or done that made her feel uncomfortable."

He added that he did not recall "the circumstances" the woman described.

Kihuen's comments come after Rep. John ConyersJohn James ConyersMcConnell: Reparations aren't 'a good idea' This week: Democrats move funding bills as caps deal remains elusive House to hold first hearing on slavery reparations in over a decade MORE Jr. (D-Mich.) resigned on Tuesday after facing multiple accusations that he made unwanted sexual advances to former staffers.