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Bernie Sanders Apologizes to Women Who Were Harassed on His 2016 Campaign

Bernie Sanders Apologizes to Women Who Were Harassed on His 2016 Campaign

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) on Thursday acknowledged and apologized for any sexual harassment or mistreatment of women who worked on his 2016 presidential campaign. "I thank them, from the bottom of my heart, for speaking out", Sanders said in a statement.

The Vermont independent said on Capitol Hill that the alleged misconduct by male aides "was absolutely unacceptable and certainly not what a progressive campaign or any campaign should be about". He added that he was unaware of any negative behavior during his campaign because "I was little bit busy running around the country trying to make the case".

He projected more contrition on Thursday, saying that "our standards, our procedures, our safeguards, were clearly inadequate".

This comes after Politico reported on Thursday that a young woman has accused a former top aide on Sanders' 2016 presidential campaign of forcibly kissing her. "I categorically deny these allegations of improper and unprofessional conduct", wrote Becker in a statement, the alleged behavior is "at odds with my recollection of a late evening filled with many hugs and kisses and tears and conversations about what's next", he said.

Politico's report said the "female staffer did not report the incident immediately because the campaign had just ended at the time of the incident". The campaign staffers had gathered at the restaurant to mark the end of Sanders's presidential bid.

"I was little bit busy running around the country trying to make the case", Sanders told CNN on January 2.

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Becker, now 50, told the woman he'd always wanted to have sex with her, she and three other witnesses told Politico.

The woman did not formally report the incident at the time, but was prompted to speak out after Becker, who is reportedly not on Sanders' payroll, "has been calling potential staffers and traveling to early primary states to prepare for another presidential run - activities that Sanders' top aides did not endorse, but did not disavow, either".

The campaign of the 2016 presidential election in the USA was marred by episodes of sexual misconduct, especially by the then Republican candidate Donald Trump who eventually won the poll to become the president.

Todd noted that other accusations had drawn a sense of a "pervasive culture of toxic masculinity" on the 2016 campaign. They added: "To be clear: no one who committed sexual harassment in 2016 would be back if there were a 2020 campaign".

The allegations came after dozens of 2016 Sanders campaign staffers, both men and women, signed a letter requesting a meeting with Sanders "to discuss the issue of sexual violence and harassment on the 2016 campaign, for the goal of planning to mitigate the issue in the upcoming presidential cycle". Meanwhile, Sanders' campaign committee has confirmed he will not be a part of any potential future campaigns.

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