Klobuchar: 'I don't remember' conversation with Reid over alleged staff mistreatment

Sen. Amy KlobucharAmy Jean Klobuchar New poll shows four top-tier 2020 candidates in Iowa New poll catapults Buttigieg to frontrunner position in Iowa Election 2020: Why I'm watching Amy and Andy MORE (D-Minn.), a 2020 Democratic presidential contender, said Tuesday that neither she nor former Sen. Harry ReidHarry Mason ReidThe Memo: Democrats confront prospect of long primary Bottom Line Lobbying world MORE (D-Nev.) recall a reported incident in 2015 where the then-Senate minority leader rebuked the Minnesota senator over her treatment of her staff.

Klobuchar told Fox News's Bret Baier on "Special Report" that she called Reid after she heard of a HuffPost story that said Reid spoke with her to urge her to change her behavior. She said the former senator did not remember the reported exchange.

Klobuchar, who announced her bid for the Democratic presidential nomination on Sunday, has been the subject of multiple reports in recent weeks wherein anonymous former staffers allege she created a hostile work environment. The senator said on Fox News she did not know where the reports came from.


"But I will say I’m proud of our staff," she said. "And yes I can be a tough boss and push people. That’s obvious, but that’s because I have high expectations of myself, I have high expectations of those that work with me, and I have high expectations for our country."

Asked about one specific allegation that she threw a binder, Klobuchar cited to a report that said she threw a binder "down," not at someone.

"I think people should judge me on this campaign and how we do," she added.

Days before Klobuchar officially jumped into the Democratic field, HuffPost reported that three potential candidates to lead her presidential campaign declined the job, citing the mistreatment of staff. 

BuzzFeed followed up with a story that included former staffers complaining about Klobuchar’s temper, accusing her of throwing papers and sending humiliating emails.

Several staff members described Klobuchar in the BuzzFeed report as a thoughtful boss, and the senator on Tuesday noted that her chief of staff and state director have been with her for years. Klobuchar's defenders have suggested the criticism of her management style is rooted in sexism.