A former White House aide who says Bill Clinton sexually assaulted her in 1993 says that Hillary Clinton should address questions about her husband’s history of alleged sexual violence on the campaign trail.
Kathleen Willey—who claimed Bill Clinton groped her and forced her to touch his genitals during a meeting in the Oval Office—told the Washington Free Beacon on Tuesday that she was furious to see Hillary Clinton make support for sexual abuse victims a key part of her campaign platform.
“She made that ridiculous commercial about ‘you deserve to be heard,’” said Willey. “I almost fell off the sofa when I saw that.”
Clinton released an ad in September in which she told sexual assault victims, “Don’t let anyone silence your voice. You have a right to be heard, and you have a right to be believed. We’re with you.”
Willey said she was one of many women to have her reputation attacked by the Clintons after she came forward to accuse Bill Clinton of sexual assault in the 1990s.
“Women didn’t report rape back in the ‘50s and the ‘60s because they were fair game,” said Willey. “It was their history that was attacked, and it was their history that was investigated, everything wrong that they ever did was brought, and that has changed somewhat over the years. But I think we’ve come full circle and come back to it.”
The accusations against Bill Clinton have recently reemerged as a campaign issue, after Hillary Clinton criticized Republican candidate Donald Trump’s record on women. Trump responded by calling her husband “one of the great women abusers of all time.”
Last week, Republican New Hampshire State Rep. Katherine Prudhomme-O'Brien, who says she is also a rape survivor, shouted questions at Hillary Clinton at a campaign event about the rape and sexual assault accusations against Bill Clinton.
“You are very rude, and I’m not going to ever call on you,” Hillary Clinton told Prudhomme-O'Brien, before answering questions from others in the audience.
Willey said she spoke to Prudhomme-O’Brien after the event and thanked her for trying to get answers.
“You tried to get [Clinton] to answer the question that nobody else has the nerve to ask her,” Willey said she told Prudhomme-O’Brien.
Clinton did field a question in December about her husband’s behavior.
During a campaign event, one audience-member asked Clinton “You say that all rape victims should be believed, but would you say that about [Bill Clinton’s accusers] Juanita Broaddrick, Kathleen Willey and, or Paula Jones? Should we believe them as well?”
“Well, I would say that everybody should be believed at first until they are disbelieved on evidence,” responded Clinton.
Willey’s accusations against Bill Clinton were raised during the independent counsel investigation that led to the president’s impeachment in 1998. Her testimony that he sexually assaulted her has never been disproven, but Clinton allies have seized on discrepancies in her story and incidents from her personal life to raise questions about her credibility.
Willey said she met with President Clinton in the Oval Office on Nov. 29, 1993, during a time when she and her husband, the son of a prominent Virginia Democratic legislator, were undergoing significant financial strain.
The volunteer White House aide said she asked for the meeting in order to see if Clinton could help her secure a job. She said during the meeting Clinton forcibly groped her, kissed her on the mouth, and pushed her hand onto his crotch against her will.
Clinton supporters question Willey’s account, and say she continued to send Clinton friendly letters after the alleged assault occurred. They note that she once admitted to lying to a boyfriend about a false pregnancy.
Willey said attacks on sexual assault victims discourage other victims from coming forward.
“When I was writing my book, I had women call me and tell me about their experiences at the hands of Bill Clinton,” said Willey. “And I was horrified by some of the things they were saying. But I don’t think they’ll ever talk fully. And you know what? I can’t say that I blame them. I mean, look what’s happened to me.”
“This is 2016, okay? This isn’t 1966,” said Willey. “And women are still dealing with the same thing. Blame the victim.”