Clinton Issues Statement Explaining Why She Shielded Alleged Sexual Harasser in 2008

Hillary Clinton makes a concession speech after being defeated by Republican president-elect Donald Trump / Getty Images
• January 30, 2018 10:12 pm


Former Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton on Tuesday night published an explanation of her decision to defend a 2008 campaign official accused of sexual harassment.

The New York Times reported Friday that Clinton ignored the recommendations of her own campaign manager and decided not to fire faith adviser Burns Strider after he was accused of unwanted sexual advances towards a subordinate. In response, Clinton tweeted a short statement.

That statement—which failed to express remorse or admit wrongdoing—was criticized even by Clinton's former campaign manager.

But days later, only fifteen minutes before Donald Trump's State of the Union address was set to be delivered, Clinton suddenly posted a 1,500-word essay on her Facebook page explaining why she didn't fire Strider and expressing regret for the decision.

"If I had it to do again, I wouldn’t," she said.

"I didn’t think firing him was the best solution to the problem," she continued. "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."

Clinton even took a dig at the Times for reporting on the story after reinstating their own reporter Glenn Thrush following a suspension for his misconduct toward female coworkers.

"They recently opted to suspend and reinstate one of their journalists who exhibited similarly inappropriate behavior, rather than terminate him," she said. "A decade from now, that decision may not look as tough as it feels today."

Clinton insisted the delay in her statement was because she had been "grappling with this and thinking about how best to share my thoughts."

"I hope that women will continue to talk and write about their own experiences and that they will continue leading this critical debate, which, done right, will lead to a better, fairer, safer country for us all," she concluded.