As Sanders and surrogates explore a 2020 presidential bid, more than a dozen former female and male staffers who worked on the 2016 campaign signed a letter requesting a meeting with Sanders and his leadership team "to discuss the issue of sexual violence and harassment on the 2016 campaign, for the objective of planning to mitigate the issue in the upcoming presidential cycle".
"To the women on my 2016 campaign who were harassed or mistreated, thank you, from the bottom of my heart for speaking out".
'The allegations that I have heard, that you have heard, speak to unacceptable behavior, that must not be tolerated in any campaign or in any workplace in our country, ' he noted.
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He apologized "to any woman who felt that she was not treated appropriately, and of course if I run, we will do better next time", but went on to say that he was unaware of the allegations because he "was a little bit busy running around the country trying to make the case". "Our standards and safeguards were inadequate". Becker had begun making preparations for another campaign and calling around to staffers when the woman came forward, and other staffers came out with similar stories, causing him to lose his position on the campaign. She reported the harassment after he contacted her again for a possible 2020 campaign. "I apologize", Sanders tweeted.
Becker allegedly told a 20-something woman that he had always wanted to have sex with her and made a reference to riding his 'pole, ' the woman and three other people told the news website.
"Candidates who allow people like Robert Becker to lead their organizations shouldn't earn the highest office in our government", said the staffer, who asked to remain anonymous out of fear of retaliation by Sanders and Becker loyalists.
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Later in the night, the 50-year-old Becker grabbed the woman by the wrists and held her head while kissing her, the report said. The Sanders camp, though, has said he's not on the payroll.
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. 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". Bernie Sanders' 2016 presidential bid, has been accused of forcibly kissing a younger female subordinate during the campaign.
"To be clear: no one who committed sexual harassment in 2016 would be back if there were a 2020 campaign", said the committee, which also described Becker's alleged actions as "deplorable and fundamentally unacceptable".
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The New York Times also has detailed allegations of unwanted sexual advances and pay inequity on Sanders' 2016 campaign.