Details Over Top Sanders Advisor's Alleged Sexual Misconduct With Subordinate Emerge

Sanders speaks

Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) found himself again apologizing to women who worked on his 2016 presidential campaign.

The Vermont independent said on Capitol Hill that the alleged misconduct by male aides "was absolutely unacceptable and certainly not what a progressive campaign or any campaign should be about".

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50-year-old former convention floor leader Robert Becker has been accused of telling a 20-year-old subordinate he wanted to have sex with her and forcibly kissing her during the final night of the Democratic National Convention.

Becker denied the allegations to Politico.

More than two dozen former staffers recently sent a letter to Sanders and his aides, seeking a meeting regarding the "sexual violence and harassment on the 2016 campaign" ahead of another bid for the presidency.

Sanders says he was unaware of Becker's alleged behaviour.

She chose to speak out after Becker reportedly contacted her and other potential staffers regarding a 2020 presidential run by Sanders and visited early primary states.

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Sanders had apologized before, albeit not in such a comprehensive fashion.

In his statement Thursday, Sanders admitted his 2016 campaign's "standards and safeguards were inadequate".

"Candidates who allow people like Robert Becker to lead their organizations shouldn't earn the highest office in our government", she told Politico.

But Sanders has refused to take action, she said. It must be a reality in our daily lives. "You can't run for president of the United States unless you acknowledge that every campaign demands a safe work environment for every employee and volunteer", she added.

However one of the senator's principal campaign committees, Friends of Bernie Sanders, said it will not support another presidential run if Becker is involved. They claimed that, when they detailed those concerns to campaign superiors, they were sometimes ignored, and in one case, laughed off. The New York Times reported last week that a Latino outreach strategist for the campaign complained to a supervisor that she had been harassed by a campaign surrogate.

CNN reported on Wednesday that Jeff Weaver, the longtime Sanders confidant and 2016 campaign manager, will not return to the role he held in 2016 should Sanders made a decision to run again, and Friends of Bernie Sanders confirmed this to VTDigger.

Politico also reported that over a half-dozen staffers who worked with Becker on the 2016 campaign said there was "a pattern of other inappropriate behavior or poor management".

Allegations of sexual misconduct and an "untenable and unsafe dynamic that developed during [the Sanders] campaign" have dogged the Vermont senator in recent weeks, according to Politico.

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