Hillary Clinton refused to fire an advisor that had been accused of sexually harassing a 30-year-old woman working on her campaign in 2008, according to a report in the New York Times. Instead, Burns Strider (what a name!), the co-founder of the American Values Network and Clinton’s “faith advisor,” continued to work on her campaign at her request, over the objections of senior staff.
According to the report, the unnamed woman said that Strider “had rubbed her shoulders inappropriately, kissed her on the forehead and sent her a string of suggestive emails, including at least one during the night.”
After she reported the behavior to other campaign staff, senior members of Clinton’s campaign team recommended that Strider be fired. Instead, the woman was reassigned to a different position, and Strider was allowed to stay on the job after going through counseling. (The counseling apparently didn’t stick. Five years later, Strider was fired from his role as the head of the pro-Clinton organization Correct the Record for, among other issues, harassing yet another young woman.)
Clinton has stayed relatively silent as the #MeToo movement has gained momentum, though she did issue a condemnation of Harvey Weinstein days after the story broke in which she claims she was “shocked and appalled” by the revelations.
In a November 1, 2017 interview with the Daily Show’s Trevor Noah during which Noah pressed her about her thoughts on workplace sexual harassment and abuses of power, she stated: “This is a pervasive problem that has to be dealt with, and more women have to be given the support they need, that they can come forward.”
She continued: “I’ve talked to some of these young women over the years who have been facing these kinds of difficult choices. Maybe now, with these revelations coming out, more people will feel emboldened and most importantly, the spotlight will shine on people who will think twice about doing some of these terrible things that they are reported to have done.”
Clinton didn’t comment to the Times, so there’s no word yet on whether Clinton is “shocked and appalled” by her own choice, in 2008, to keep a man accused of harassment on her staff.