Politics

Hillary Clinton Pleads Ignorance About Harvey Weinstein Despite Multiple Warnings

'How could we have known?' Clinton asked, despite multiple women saying they warned the campaign

Hillary Clinton and Harvey Weinstein / Getty Images

Former Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton claimed there was no way she could have known about Harvey Weinstein's history of alleged sexual assault, despite multiple women saying they warned her campaign.

"How could we have known?" Clinton said when asked by the Hollywood Reporter about her longstanding relationship with Weinstein. "He raised money for me, for the Obamas, for Democrats in general. And that at the time was something that everybody thought made sense. And of course, if all of us had known what we know now, it would have affected our behavior."

Several Hollywood insiders have said that the Clinton camp was well aware of his predatory behavior. In a 2017 profile of the "complicity machine" that allowed Weinstein to evade punishment, the New York Times reported that two high-profile women, journalist Tina Brown and actress Lena Dunham, warned people close to Clinton about the Hollywood mogul, who is now standing trial for sexual assault.

Brown, the former editor in chief of the Daily Beast, claimed in an interview that she told a member of Clinton's inner circle about Weinstein during the 2008 campaign. "I was hearing that Harvey’s sleaziness with women had escalated since I left Talk in 2002 and she was unwise to be so closely associated with him," Brown said. Dunham was even more direct.

"I just want to let you know that Harvey’s a rapist and this is going to come out at some point. I think it’s a really bad idea for him to host fundraisers and be involved because it’s an open secret in Hollywood that he has a problem with sexual assault," Dunham recalled telling 2016 campaign deputy communications director Kristina Schake.

Dunham, a Clinton surrogate, said the staffer responded by saying she would pass the message to campaign manager Robby Mook. Dunham also said that she gave a similar warning to campaign spokeswoman Adrienne Elrod. Both women denied to the Times that Dunham had mentioned rape, while Mook said he never received any warning.

Clinton's professed ignorance also comes despite journalist Ronan Farrow's claim that the failed candidate's staff attempted to pressure him when he first began investigating Weinstein at NBC in 2017.

"Hillary Clinton had scheduled an interview while I was at the height of the Weinstein reporting, and her folks got in touch and said, ‘We hear you're working on a big story,' sounded very concerned, and tried to cancel that interview," Farrow told ABC News in 2018. "Over the Weinstein stuff."

Farrow's report led alleged Weinstein victim and Clinton supporter, Rose McGowan, to publicly attack the former secretary of state. "I knew that Hillary Clinton’s people were protecting the Monster," the actress tweeted. "I guess predators are her style."