Gillibrand: Aide who claimed sexual harassment was 'believed'

Gillibrand: Aide who claimed sexual harassment was 'believed'
© Anna Moneymaker

Sen. Kirsten GillibrandKirsten Elizabeth GillibrandGillibrand pledges not to use 'stolen hacked' materials in 2020 campaign 2020 Dems rebuke Trump on Iran, say they'd put US back in nuclear deal Where 2020 Democratic candidates stand on impeachment MORE (D-N.Y.) addressed the handling of a sexual harassment complaint within her senate office at a town hall event Monday night, telling voters that her former staffer was "believed."

“In terms of my own office, the woman who came forward, she was believed, her allegations were taken seriously,” Gillibrand said during the town hall, which was broadcast on MSNBC. “This employee was dearly valued. I told her that she was loved, by us, by our office, by me personally.”

ADVERTISEMENT

Gillibrand, who on Sunday officially launched her 2020 presidential campaign, reiterated that an investigation found the complaint did not rise to sexual harassment, but that there was evidence of derogatory comments. She added that the senior aide who was the subject of the allegations, Abbas Malik, "was punished."

The former aide to the senator resigned last summer after she said an older, male colleague made unwanted advances and used degrading language. The allegations were first reported by Politico.

The incident has led to scrutiny for Gillibrand, who has been at the forefront of the "Me Too" movement and has long track record of advocating for reforming how institutions handle allegations of sexual harassment and assault.

Gillibrand was the first senator to call for the resignation of former Sen. Al FrankenAlan (Al) Stuart FrankenWinners and losers from first fundraising quarter Election analyst says Gillibrand doesn't have 'horsepower to go the full distance' Gillibrand campaign links low fundraising to Al Franken backlash: memo MORE (D-Minn.) after he was accused of misconduct and responded to criticism about the matter.

Gillibrand on Sunday joined a steadily growing field of presidential hopefuls seeking the 2020 Democratic nomination. Others in the race include Sens. Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisJulián Castro: Trump should be impeached for trying to obstruct justice 'in very concrete ways' Poll: Buttigieg tops Harris, O'Rourke as momentum builds Trump Jr. slams 2020 Dems as 'more concerned' about rights of murderers than legal gun owners MORE (D-Calif.), Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenJulián Castro: Trump should be impeached for trying to obstruct justice 'in very concrete ways' Poll: Biden tops Sanders nationally Pete Buttigieg: 'God doesn't have a political party' MORE (D-Mass.), Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerHarris adds another to her list of endorsements in South Carolina The Hill's Morning Report - Dem candidates sell policy as smart politics 2020 Dems rebuke Trump on Iran, say they'd put US back in nuclear deal MORE (D-N.J.) and Bernie SandersBernard (Bernie) SandersAndrew Cuomo: Biden has best chance at 'main goal' of beating Trump Poll: Buttigieg tops Harris, O'Rourke as momentum builds Buttigieg responds to accusation of pushing a 'hate hoax' about Pence MORE (I-Vt.).