Clinton Offers Mea Culpa for 2007 Decision

She regrets not firing staffer accused of harassment, takes subtle dig at 'New York Times'
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 31, 2018 12:22 PM CST
Clinton Regrets Protecting Accused Staffer
Hillary Clinton now regrets protecting a staffer accused of harassment.   (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

Hillary Clinton wishes now that she fired a staffer on her 2008 campaign who had been accused of repeated sexual harassment. In a lengthy Facebook post, Clinton discussed her decision to keep the staffer on board. "The short answer is this: If I had it to do again, I wouldn't," Clinton wrote. The issue arose when the New York Times reported that Clinton refused to fire Burns Strider, founder of the Christian lobbying group the American Values Network, despite her own campaign manager's recommendation to do so. Strider had been accused of inappropriate behavior—shoulder rubs, forehead kisses, suggestive emails, etc.—toward a 30-year-old female staffer with whom he shared an office in 2007.

Instead of firing him, Clinton had his pay docked and ordered him to undergo counseling. In her mea culpa, Clinton seemed to take a dig at the Times on the hypocrisy front, notes NPR. "While we are revisiting whether my decision from a decade ago was harsh enough, many employers would be well served to take actions at least as severe when confronted with problems now—including the very media outlet that broke this story," Clinton wrote. It's a reference to how the Times handled its own situation with reporter Glenn Thrush. The Times "recently opted to suspend and reinstate one of their journalists who exhibited similarly inappropriate behavior, rather than terminate him," wrote Clinton. (More Hillary Clinton stories.)

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