- Sen. Bernie Sanders is reportedly set to meet with former female campaign staffers who’ve alleged they were sexually harassed and mistreated during his 2016 presidential campaign.
- Sanders has claimed he didn’t know about the harassment at the time.
- The Vermont senator is mulling over running again in 2020 and has faced criticism for not addressing the allegations more forcefully.
- Sanders last Thursday issued a formal apology to the women who’ve come forward.
Sen. Bernie Sanders is reportedly set to meet with former female campaign staffers who’ve alleged they were sexually harassed and faced gender discrimination along the campaign trail in 2016.
Sanders will meet with the women in Washington, DC, on Wednesday, and has paid for their travel to the nation’s capital as well as their accommodation, BuzzFeed News reported.
The meeting will reportedly be facilitated by Jenny Yang and Pamela Coukos of Working IDEAL, a consultancy group that focuses on making workplaces more inclusive and diverse.
Sanders did not immediately respond to a request for comment from INSIDER.
As he mulls a potential 2020 run, Sanders has come under fire over reports female campaign staffers were harassed by male staff in 2016. He’s claimed he knew nothing about the harassment at the time.
One of Sanders’ top aides during the campaign, Robert Becker, now 50, has been accused of attempting to forcibly kiss a 20-something female staffer. Becker has been accused of misconduct by several other former campaign staffers as well.
Dozens of other former staffers have also made complaints about the mistreatment of female staffers and pay disparities between women and men on the campaign.
Some of the ex-staffers who’ve come forward with complaints said they were given virtually no support by a largely male-dominated staff when they attempted to address the alleged harassment during the campaign with senior aides.
Former Sanders campaign staffers and supporters recently sent the senator a letter stating they wanted to meet with him to discuss some of these issues in the near future as he considers another presidential run.
The Vermont senator last Thursday issued a formal apology to the women who’ve come forward in recent weeks. He also claimed he didn’t know about a $US30,000 settlement paid two former staffers who filed a federal discrimination lawsuit after being terminated by the campaign.
“To the women on my 2016 campaign who were harassed or mistreated, thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for speaking out. I apologise,” Sanders tweeted. “We can’t just talk about ending sexism and discrimination. It must be a reality in our daily lives. That was clearly not the case in 2016.”
Sanders has faced criticism over some of his initial reactions to the reports of harassment and mistreatment.
During a CNN interview in early January, Sanders apologised “to any woman who felt that she was not treated appropriately” during the campaign. But he also drew ire from some for saying he didn’t know about the harassment allegations because he was “a little bit busy running around the country trying to make the case.”
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.