President Barack Obama finds himself in the the splash zone of yet another scandal today, this time involving allegations of sexual harassment — and a suspected cover-up — among top Democratic Party officials in North Carolina, a key swing state that will host the party’s national convention this summer.
The harassment came to light last week, after the Charlotte News & Observer and The Daily Caller obtained internal party emails from a former party staffer, who claimed that he was fired in retaliation for accusing the North Carolina Democratic Party’s executive director Jay Parmley of sexually harassing him by showing him a picture of male genitals, caressing his leg, and discussing his sex exploits.
The emails seem to show that the staffer, Adriadn Ortega, reached a confidential settlement with the party. Palmley stepped down last week amid the scandal, but other North Carolina Democratic leaders now face questions about whether they tried to cover up the incident.
To make matters worse, The Daily Caller reports today that an ex-girlfriend of Palmley’s has accused him of infecting her with HIV, and afterwards offering to get the Democratic National Committee to pay for her health coverage.
The Republican National Committee is now trying to tie the scandal to Obama. In a new video, released to coincide with the President’s visit to North Carolina today, the RNC mashes up images of the President with broadcasts of the scandal, including a clip of Democratic Governor/Obama surrogate Beverly Purdue repeatedly telling reporters that the harassment issue is an “internal matter.”
Predictably, Obama did not address the scandal during his visit, which included a speech on college affordability and an interview with Jimmy Fallon. But The Daily Caller reports that his campaign deputies are closely monitoring the situation in North Carolina, and plan on orchestrating a leadership shakeup at the state party’s convention in two weeks.
Watch the RNC video below.
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