State Watch

Former aide says she felt ‘abandoned’ by Democrats who advanced Garcetti nomination as ambassador to India

Stefani Reynolds

A former communications director to Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti (D) said in an interview that she felt “abandoned” by Democrats on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee who voted to move the mayor’s nomination as U.S. ambassador to India forward despite allegations over the mayor’s handling of accusations made against a former Garcetti adviser. 

Rick Jacobs, a former mayoral adviser, is accused by four former aides of sexual harassment. One of those aides, Naomi Seligman, says that Garcetti knew about it but did not act on the knowledge, Los Angeles Magazine reported.

Jacobs, who is openly gay, has denied the allegations against him, and Garcetti has said under oath that he did not know about the allegations surrounding the former mayoral adviser, according to Los Angeles Magazine.

Seligman told the magazine in an interview published on Monday that she felt “abandoned” by Senate Democrats who voted to advance his nomination amid their allegations.

“Where’s Kirsten Gillibrand? Where’s Elizabeth Warren? Where are these warriors for women? That guts me,” Seligman told Los Angeles Magazine, referring to Democratic senators from New York and Massachusetts, respectively. “Has #MeToo ended in the Senate? If we don’t have them, who do we have?”

However, the magazine noted that during recent hearings those allegations against Jacobs had been raised by Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.).

Seligman claimed that President Biden was being hypocritical for nominating Garcetti while previously suggesting that former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) should step down after a report from New York Attorney General Letitia James (D) found that he sexually harassed 11 women.

“It’s confounding that, on the one hand, President Biden would have urged Governor Cuomo to resign, but on the other he would nominate a person who has enabled and covered up sexual abuse as ambassador to one of our most important allies. That blows my mind,” Seligman told the magazine.

Biden believes the mayor that he did not know about the accusations against Jacobs, a White House spokesperson told the news outlet.

The Hill has reached out to the committee, Garcetti’s office, the White House and the offices of Gillibrand and Warren for comment. 

Tags Andrew Cuomo Elizabeth Warren Eric Garcetti Eric Garcetti Jeanne Shaheen Joe Biden Kirsten Gillibrand Los Angeles Sexual harassment

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