Hillary Clinton penned a massive missive explaining that if given a second chance to fire a 2008 presidential campaign staffer accused of sexual harassment, she would.
The two-time Democrat candidate expressed regret Tuesday night after reports revealed she allowed a man to remain employed despite having repeatedly harassed a female subordinate.
Clinton demoted faith adviser Burns Strider, docked his pay, ordered him to undergo therapy and separated the two employees from working with each other in lieu of firing him, she wrote in a Facebook post published minutes before President Trump began his State of the Union address.
“I did this because I didn’t think firing him was the best solution to the problem,” Clinton said.
“He needed to be punished, change his behavior, and understand why his actions were wrong. The young woman needed to be able to thrive and feel safe. I thought both could happen without him losing his job,” she said. “I believed the punishment was severe and the message to him unambiguous.”
The New York Times first reported Friday that the victim lodged her initial complaint against Strider in 2007. She depicted a possessive boss with habitual drunken come-ons during the campaign. He often kissed her behind closed doors, BuzzFeed reported Saturday, and at one occasion revealed his porn-purchasing habits while on the road.
Strider did not dispute the nature of the allegations in a phone call with BuzzFeed over the weekend.
Burns Strider was allowed to keep his job despite having harassed a female subordinate on Clinton’s campaign bid.
(Rogelio V. Solis/AP)
The reports state multiple campaign officials, including Clinton’s campaign manager, Solis Doyle, recommended she fire Strider. Clinton declined to do so and allowed him to keep his job.
“If I had it to do again, I wouldn’t,” Clinton wrote, describing her regret at allowing him to stick with the campaign.
Clinton felt compelled to give Strider a second chance, she said, not knowing he would continue to harass young employees at future jobs.
“I’ve been given second chances and I have given them to others,” she said. “I want to continue to believe in them. But sometimes they’re squandered. In this case, while there were no further complaints against him for the duration of the campaign, several years after working for me he was terminated from another job for inappropriate behavior. That reoccurrence troubles me greatly.”
BuzzFeed reported that Strider displayed similar behavior toward at least two women he supervised at Correct the Record, a political agency he joined in November 2013 to help Clinton ahead of her 2016 campaign attempt.