Update: Hillary Clinton has responded to the report that she kept an adviser accused of sexual harassment on her staff. Clinton tweeted about the incident on Friday night, saying, "A story appeared today about something that happened in 2008. I was dismayed when it occurred, but was heartened the young woman came forward, was heard, and had her concerns taken seriously and addressed. I called her today to tell her how proud I am of her and to make sure she knows what all women should: we deserve to be heard."
This story was originally published on January 26, 2018.
During her 2008 presidential campaign, Hillary Clinton decided to not fire a top adviser who was accused of sexual harassment, The New York Times reported on Friday.
Burns Strider, Clinton's then-faith adviser and co-founder of American Values Network, was accused of harassing a young female aide who shared an office with him. The woman, then 30-years-old and who has remained anonymous, made a complaint about Stider to a campaign official. (The Times reports that the woman, like other staffers at Clinton's campaign, signed a non-disclosure agreement that prohibits them from publicly discussing internal matters.)
The woman alleged that Stider had rubbed her shoulders and kissed her on the forehead in an inappropriate manner, and that he also sent her suggestive messages via email.
Clinton's campaign manager, Patti Solis Doyle, recommended that Strider should be fired in light of the accusations. But Clinton, who for a long time has been considered a champion for women, chose not to follow through with the advice. According to the Times, the only punishment Stider faced was getting his pay docked for several weeks and being required to attend counseling. His accuser was moved to another job.
This is not the first time that Clinton has come under scrutiny for her proximity to someone accused of sexual misconduct. After the allegations against Hollywood mogul and prolific Democratic donor Harvey Weinstein came to light last fall, Clinton released a statement: "I was shocked and appalled by the revelations about Harvey Weinstein. The behavior described by women coming forward cannot be tolerated. Their courage and the support of others is critical in helping to stop this kind of behavior."