Amid the “#MeToo” movement exposing serial sexual abuse by men in power, Hillary Clinton has dodged questions about her husband Bill Clinton’s decades of documented and alleged abuse.
Some of her husband’s accusers also have charged that she aided and abetted his abuse by threatening his victims.
Now, the New York Times is citing four sources who say Clinton retained a campaign adviser during the 2008 presidential campaign after learning he was accused of sexually harassing a young staffer, overruling her campaign manager.
Burns Strider was Clinton’s faith adviser when he was accused of inappropriately rubbing the shoulders of the woman, kissing her on the forehead and sending her suggestive emails.
Patti Solis Doyle, Clinton’s campaign manager at the time, wanted to fire Strider, who provided Clinton with Bible readings each morning via email during the campaign.
Clinton, instead, kept him in his faith adviser position, requiring only that he get counseling and lose a few weeks of pay.
Her staff, meanwhile, reassigned Strider’s alleged victim and made her sign a nondisclosure agreement.
In a November interview with the Washington Post, Clinton deflected questions about her husband’s sex scandals, insisting sexual harassment can be found “everywhere.”
Strider did not respond to the New York Times’ request for comment. Clinton responded through a statement by the law firm that represented her 2008 campaign, Utrecht, Kleinfeld, Fiori, Partners.
The statement simply claimed the campaign’s policies were followed in the Strider case.
“To ensure a safe working environment, the campaign had a process to address complaints of misconduct or harassment,” the statement said. “When matters arose, they were reviewed in accordance with these policies, and appropriate action was taken. This complaint was no exception.”
Writing in The Atlantic, Megan Garber observed that the “contours” of the Strider matter were “extremely familiar,” with the man accused of sexual harassment remaining in place while the woman who made the accusations was forced to move.
She also commented on Clinton’s response to the Times’ story, noting Clinton used her law firm to deliver a response several steps removed from her “with the clinical language of corporate callousness.”
“So while it was Clinton, the manager, the Times report goes, who made the decision to keep Strider on her team, Clinton, the manager, is notably absent from today’s explanation of things,” Garber wrote. “She has outsourced her own decision-making, it seems, to discussions of process and policies — the same anonymous structures that so many other managers have relied on for legal, and moral, insulation.”
The “#MeToo” movement that began last fall with sexual assault allegations against Hollywood kingpin Harvey Weinstein has brought more scrutiny to the allegations against Bill Clinton, who has been accused of sexual assault, rape and sexual harassment by women dating to the 1970s. The most serious accusation was brought by Juanita Broaddrick, who alleges that in 1978, Clinton raped her when he was Arkansas attorney general.
Bill Clinton, after repeatedly lying about his sexual relationship with White House intern Monica Lewinsky, was forced to admit it after evidence, the infamous blue dress, was presented.
He has been accused by Paula Jones of exposing himself to her in a Little Rock hotel room in 1991, which resulted in an out-of-court lawsuit settlement. Kathleen Willey accused him of groping her in 1993 in the Oval Office, where she was a volunteer aide.
The allegations returned to the spotlight during Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign when Republican candidate Donald Trump held a press conference featuring Broaddrick, Jones and Willey.