Published: Sun, January 13, 2019
World News | By Sandy Lane

Bernie Sanders adviser accused of harassing female staffer in 2016

Bernie Sanders adviser accused of harassing female staffer in 2016

Robert Becker - who oversaw Sanders' campaign in Iowa and, as deputy national field director, subsequently lead the senator's efforts in California, Michigan and NY - allegedly approached the 20-year-old female staffer later that night and grabbed her wrists before forcibly kissing her, the woman and three additional sources cited by Politico claim.

More than two dozen former staffers recently sent a letter to Sanders and his aides, seeking a meeting regarding the "sexual violence and harassment on the 2016 campaign" ahead of another bid for the presidency.

The anonymous staffer, who is in her 20s, and other witnesses told Politico Becker said he wanted to have sex with her while at the Philadelphia bar.

Sanders was forced to respond to accusations reported by Politico that his campaign floor manager had forcibly kissed a 20-year-old campaign worker after making sexual suggestions to her.

Mr Becker denies any harassment, and no criminal charges have been filed. He has said he had been unaware of the alleged harassment and mistreatment of his aides during the campaign.

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"It just really sucks because no one ever held him accountable and he kept pushing and pushing and seeing how much he could get away with", she told the outlet.

Becker has been conducting unaffiliated Sanders campaign work in recent months, which included calling potential staffers and traveling to early primary states to prepare for a possible presidential run.

Politico reported Wednesday evening that Robert Becker, a top 2016 campaign advisor for Sen.

Still, the misstep has caused some analysts to question whether Sanders is the candidate Democrats should run against President Donald Trump in 2020.

"I was a little bit busy running around the country trying to make the case, " Sanders said. 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".

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The Vermont independent says alleged misconduct by male aides "was absolutely unacceptable and certainly not what a progressive campaign or any campaign should be about".

Allegations of sexual misconduct and an "untenable and risky dynamic that developed during [the Sanders] campaign" have dogged the Vermont senator in recent weeks, according to Politico.

The Vermont senator's campaign committee, Friends of Bernie Sanders, said Becker "would not be a part of any future campaigns".

The accuser said she did not alert higher-ups on the campaign team about the incident due to the campaign being over. He outlined what steps his 2018 Senate re-election campaign had taken to prevent sexual harassment, including training on the issue for all employees.

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