Top 2016 Sanders Adviser Accused of Forcibly Kissing Female Staffer

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Top 2016 Sanders Adviser Accused of Forcibly Kissing Female Staffer

Politico reported Thursday morning that Sanders' national field director, Robert Becker, had allegedly sexually harassed and assaulted another female staffer on the night of the Democratic National Convention in 2016.

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.

Other former aides accused Becker of using social media to determine potential female hires' attractiveness, according to Politico.

Politico reported late Wednesday that Robert Becker - who oversaw Sanders' 2016 Iowa campaign, then helped lead his efforts in Michigan, California and NY as deputy national field director - allegedly approached a 20-year-old campaign staffer, grabbed her wrists and forcibly kissed her, "putting his tongue in her mouth as he held her".

Senator Bernie Sanders apologized Thursday to women who said they were subjected to sexual harassment or misconduct while working for his 2016 presidential campaign.

He continued, "To the women in that campaign who were harassed or mistreated I apologize". Per the outlet, top Sanders "aides did not endorse, but did not disavow, either".

A top adviser for Bernie Sanders' 2016 presidential campaign stands accused of forcibly kissing a woman staffer and making a reference to her riding his "pole" at a hookah bar after the Democratic National Convention had concluded, Politico reported Wednesday. This can't happen in 2020. The allegation, he wrote, is "at odds with my recollection of a late evening filled with many hugs and kisses and tears and conversations about what's next". In 2016, as the size of our campaign exploded we made efforts to make it a positive experience for people.

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. But Jeff Weaver, who ran Sanders' 2016 campaign, stressed then that Becker was not doing so in an official capacity as he "doesn't work for the campaign because there is no campaign". A former Sanders delegate called the culture an "entire wave of rotten sexual harassment that seemingly was never dealt with".

Initially, Sanders responded to the request with an apology "to any woman who felt that she was not treated appropriately". And Sanders has been lambasted for what many say was a tone deaf and inept response to the allegations.

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".

Thursday, he said the country needs a "cultural revolution" in order to "change workplace attitudes and behavior".

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