Top Bernie Sanders 2016 Campaign Aide Accused of Forcibly Kissing Staffer

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According to the woman and other sources, Sanders's national field director told the woman that he had always wanted to have sex with her and made a reference to riding his "pole", Politico reported.

Sanders does not stand accused of harassing staffers himself but has been criticised for poorly handling the complaints.

"Robert Becker would not be a part of any future campaigns", the statement said, "No one who committed sexual harassment in 2016 would be back if there were a 2020 campaign". "Our standards and safeguards were inadequate". But when Becker contacted her again for a potential rerun for Sanders in the 2020 election campaign, she came out strongly over the incident.

Later that even, Becker allegedly approached the woman, grabbed her wrists, and forcibly kissed her. 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".

Robert Becker - who oversaw Sanders' campaign in Iowa and, as deputy national field director, subsequently lead the senator's efforts in California, Michigan and NY - allegedly approached the 20-year-old female staffer later that night and grabbed her wrists before forcibly kissing her, the woman and three additional sources cited by Politico claim.

Sanders, apologised in an interview on CNN last week "to any woman who felt that she was not treated appropriately. I apologize", he said.

"It just really sucks because no one ever held him accountable and he kept pushing and pushing and seeing how much he could get away with", the woman told Politico. This can't happen in 2020.

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They include former vice president Joe Biden, who has acknowledged shortcomings in handling the 1991 hearings in which Anita Hill, a former aide to Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas whom she accused of misconduct, testified before an all-male, all-white Senate committee.

The adviser, Robert Becker, has denied any wrongdoing.

"Sanders already faces tough primary competition from several women, including Warren, Harris, Gillibrand, and maybe even Tulsi Gabbard who was a key supporter in 2016", he said.

Sanders had apologised before, albeit not in such a comprehensive fashion.

"Boy is that a tough answer to defend, of course", responded Todd, "because if you're running to be the president of the United States, If you can't manage a campaign how do you manage a country?"

Politico also reported that over a half-dozen staffers who worked with Becker on the 2016 campaign said there was "a pattern of other inappropriate behavior or poor management". Bernie Sanders continues to take hits over allegations of sexual misconduct during the 2016 campaign, supporters of the Vermont independent are planning almost 400 events across all 50 states Saturday to back another White House run.

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