Bernie Sanders Apologizes to Female Campaign Workers Subjected to Harassment
Senator Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.) apologized Wednesday night to female staffers and volunteers who claim they were subjected to harassment and discriminatory treatment from their superiors during his 2016 presidential run.
“I certainly apologize to any woman who felt that she was not treated appropriately, and of course if I run, we will do better next time,” Sanders said when asked by CNN’s Anderson Cooper about a Wednesday New York Times report that alleged systemic gender pay disparities and sexual harassment on his campaign.
“I am not going to sit here and tell you that we did everything right in terms of human resources, in terms of addressing the needs that I’m hearing from now, that women felt disrespected, that there was sexual harassment which was not dealt with as effectively as possible,” he added.
A number of female volunteers and staffers described reporting sexual harassment to more senior campaign officials only to be dismissed or mocked. They also describe being paid less for the same work as male staffers.
Asked if he was aware of the issues described in the report, Sanders suggested he was too consumed by the fast pace of a national campaign to take notice but pledged to be more proactive should he choose to run again in 2020.
“Yes, I was little bit busy running around the country trying to make the case,” Sanders said.
Sanders also touted the measures taken by his 2018 Senate reelection campaign to combat sexual misconduct among staffers.
“What I will tell you is that when I ran for reelection in 2018 in Vermont, we put forward the strongest set of principles in terms of mandatory training, in terms of women, if they felt harassed, having an independent firm that they can go to,” he said. “And I think that that’s kind of the gold standard of what we should be doing.”