Hillary Clinton, widely seen as a feminist icon, opted to shield a senior adviser on her 2008 presidential campaign who had been accused of sexual harassment, leaving him in a position to potentially harass future victims.
The decision went against the recommendation of campaign manager Patti Solis Doyle, two unnamed sources told CNN.
Burns Strider, Clinton’s faith adviser, was accused by a female staffer who shared a room with him of sexual harassment.
The sources said Strider’s behavior included inappropriate touching, kissing her forehead and sending her suggestive emails, CNN reported.
When Doyle learned of the complaint, she reportedly urged Clinton to fire Strider, but the candidate declined, keeping the faith adviser on board for the duration of her campaign.
“Patti wanted him out but she was overruled,” one source told the cable network.
Clinton took to Twitter late Friday to say she “addressed” the accusations when they occurred.
“A story appeared today about something that happened in 2008. I was dismayed when it occurred, but was heartened the young woman came forward, was heard, and had her concerns taken seriously and addressed,” she tweeted.
“I called her today to tell her how proud I am of her and to make sure she knows what all women should: we deserve to be heard.”
I called her today to tell her how proud I am of her and to make sure she knows what all women should: we deserve to be heard.
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) January 27, 2018
The actions taken by Clinton, according to a source, included having the victim moved to another officer and punishing Strider by docking his pay, changing his title and sending him to sexual harassment training.
Strider remained an integral player in the Clinton circle after the campaign.
He was chosen by longtime Clinton ally David Brock to lead Correct the Record, an independent group that looked to rebut claims about Clinton as she prepared for her 2016 presidential run.
Strider was later fired from the group, in part for allegations that he sexually harassed female staffers in person and over email, the sources said.
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