In light of the Harvey Weinstein sexual misconduct allegations, the hashtag #MeToo went viral as women and men shared their own experiences with sexual harassment, assault, and rape. NBC's Meet the Press reached out to all 21 women in the United States Senate and invited them to share their own #MeToo stories.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who inspired her own hashtag of #NeverthelessShePersisted after Majority Leader Mitch McConell silenced her during Jeff Sessions' confirmation hearing, appeared on the show this morning to share her experience with workplace sexual harassment.
"Yes, I have a #MeToo story too," Warren told NBC. "I was a baby law professor and so excited to have my first real teaching job. There was a senior faculty member who would tell dirty jokes and make comments about my appearance. One day he asked me if I would stop by his office, which I didn't think much about and I did. And he slammed the door and lunged for me. It was like a bad cartoon. He's chasing me around the desk trying to get his hands on me. And I kept saying, 'You don't want to do this. You don't want to do this. I have little children at home. Please don't do this.'"
Warren recalled trying to remain calm but thinking that "if he gets hold of me, I'm going to punch him right in the face." She said she managed to dodge his grip and escape the office. "I went back to my office and I just sat and shook. And thought, 'What had I done to bring this on?'" Warren said that, with the exception of confiding in her best friend, she kept the story to herself.
The senator concluded by sending a powerful message that there's strength in numbers and, by speaking out, we can empower one another rather than blame ourselves.
"What it means now that so many people have spoken out is that it's a way to say we're here for each other, and it's also a way to say, 'No, it's not about what you did. He's the one who stepped out of line and this is on him,'" Warren said.
Watch Warren, along with senators Claire McCaskill, Heidi Heitkamp, and Mazie Hirono, share their #MeToo stories below: