In an interview with The New
York Times, Gillibrand said that Clinton stepping down
after the scandal was made public would have been “the
Gillibrand, who fervently supported Hillary
Clinton during her 2016 campaign for the
presidency, added that the standard for behavior has
changed since her husband’s presidential term ended in 2001.
“Things have changed today, and I think under those
circumstances there should be a very different reaction,” she
said, apparently nodding to the watershed conversation
happening nationally in the U.S. on powerful men and sexual
“And I think in light of this conversation, we should have a
very different conversation about President Trump, and a
very different conversation about allegations against him.”
Gillibrand’s spokesman later clarified to the Times that the
senator was trying to express that if the Clinton-Lewinsky
scandal had happened now, Bill Clinton would’ve felt more
pressure to resign.
In a 1998 news conference in the White House Rose Garden,
President Bill Clinton apologized for his sexual relationship
with intern Monica Lewinsky. (Cynthia Johnson via Getty
Gillibrand has publicly expressed her admiration of the
Clintons in the past.
In an essay published on
Medium in 2016, she endorsed Hillary Clinton’s Democratic
presidential bid. In the essay, she wrote adoringly of Hillary
Clinton, who mentored Gillibrand during her own run for office
and said she was “truly honored” that Bill Clinton had
campaigned for her congressional run in 2006.
As senator, her government website reads, Gillibrand is
“leading the fight to reform the justice system for sexual
assault survivors in the military and on college campuses.”
On Wednesday, Gillibrand co-sponsored a bill, known as the “Me Too”
Act, with Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.) to make the process
of reporting sexual harassment by lawmakers and staffers
easier. The bill, which gained bipartisan support, is a part of
Speier’s efforts to address the issue of
sexual harassment and abuse within Congress.
Gillibrand has also publicly denounced Sen. Al Franken
(D-Minn.), who was recently accused of groping and
kissing broadcaster Leeann Tweeden without consent during a
USO tour in 2006.
The allegations against Sen. Franken are deeply concerning.
This kind of behavior is unacceptable and should not be
tolerated anywhere in our society. There is nothing funny
about it and there is no excuse for it. The Ethics
Committee deserves answers from him.
— Kirsten Gillibrand (@SenGillibrand)
November 16, 2017
There has been an outpouring of sexual abuse or harassment
accusations against men in powerful positions since The New
York Times and The New Yorker published explosive reports last
month on film mogul Harvey Weinstein’s alleged history of
sexual abuse and manipulation.
Accusations have since stretched across industries to include
political circles, with Senate nominee Roy Moore of
Alabama also at the center of sexual misconduct allegations.
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