A U.S. Senator and 2020 presidential hopeful kept an aide on her staff despite multiple accusations of sexual harassment, according to several Monday report.
“The military adviser to Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, a 2020 presidential candidate who has been an outspoken supporter of the #MeToo movement and a campaigner against sexual misconduct in the military, kept his job despite allegations he sexually harassed a junior female aide,” according to Washington Examiner.
The female aide and alleged victim of the misconduct resigned in protest over the way Gillibrand handled her complaints. She is described as mid-20’s, married and apparently Gillibrand officiated her wedding.
The military advisor, who has now been terminated, is Abbas Malik. He was only fired after media inquiries into his alleged misconduct.
“The woman has accused Gillibrand of hypocrisy in protecting a powerful male staff member and abandoning a junior female staffer — a sharp contrast with her political rhetoric on sexual misconduct,” according to the report.
Malik allegedly made “a string of unwelcome advances” and sexually explicit remarks. He reportedly said that the young female aide “couldn’t get laid unless she was raped.”
Despite the aides reports, Malik kept his job.
Gillibrand released a statement to The Examiner:
“These are challenges that affect all of our nation’s workplaces, including mine, and the question is whether or not they are taken seriously.
As I have long said, when allegations are made in the workplace, we must believe women so that serious investigations can actually take place, we can learn the facts, and there can be appropriate accountability. That’s exactly what happened at every step of this case last year. I told her that we loved her at the time and the same is true today.”
“I have offered my resignation because of how poorly the investigation and post-investigation was handled.
I trusted and leaned on this statement that you made: ‘You need to draw a line in the sand and say none of it is O.K. None of it is acceptable.’ Your office chose to go against your public belief that women shouldn’t accept sexual harassment in any form and portrayed my experience as a misinterpretation instead of what it actually was: harassment and ultimately, intimidation.”
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