Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton praised another New York legislator with a history of ethics problems during her rally at New York City’s Apollo Theater on Wednesday: Rep. Charlie Rangel (D., N.Y.).
“I also want to acknowledge my longtime friend, the person that I actually give credit to for starting me on this journey,” Clinton said. “That is Congressman Charlie Rangel!”
Rangel’s upper Manhattan district includes Harlem, and he has served in the House of Representatives since 1971. Clinton ran for the U.S. Senate in New York while she was still first lady and was elected in 2000. She was re-elected in 2006 before launching a failed presidential bid in 2008. Ultimately, she became President Obama’s secretary of state beginning in 2009.
Rangel, a Clinton ally, was found guilty of 11 ethics violations in relation to his finances and fundraising efforts for a New York college, and he was ultimately censured.
The scandal cost Rangel his influential seat on the House Ways and Means Committee. Although he’s come close to being defeated in Democratic primaries since, he has maintained his seat and said that his current term will be his last.
Earlier this year, Rangel disparaged Clinton opponent Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.) by saying he didn’t know any black voters who knew who Sanders was.
Clinton is herself no stranger to questions about her ethics. American Crossroads released an ad just this week outlining her numerous scandals, including her use of a private email server as secretary of state and allegations that she mishandled classified information.