Time reporter Charlotte Alter on Friday said former representative Katie Hill's (D., Calif.) claim that a "double standard" forced her out of Congress is "a little bit strained."
"Certainly a male staffer who is having an affair with a female subordinate would not be afforded the same sympathy she's been afforded," Alter said on MSNBC Live.
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Alter noted that Hill's sex scandal, which arose after the conservative website RedState published compromising photos of Hill with a female campaign staffer, also differed from previous high-profile sex scandals because no one involved with Hill complained of "abuse" or "harassment" beforehand.
Many media outlets mourned Hill's resignation. MSNBC's Chris Hayes on Tuesday said it seemed like the "bad guys" won, while Daily Beast columnist Margaret Carlson called the resignation a "tragedy."
Hill on Thursday claimed the pictures were "revenge porn," and in her final House floor speech accused colleagues of holding her to a different standard than men accused of sexual misconduct.
"I'm leaving, but we have men who have been credibly accused of intentional acts of sexual violence and remain in board rooms, on the Supreme Court, in this very body, and worst of all, in the Oval Office," she said, referring to Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh and President Donald Trump.
Hill admitted to having a "throuple" relationship involving a campaign staffer. Neither Trump nor Kavanaugh have made analogous admissions. The House Ethics Committee last week announced an investigation into her possible relationship with a congressional staffer. Hill denied having had such a relationship but, on Sunday, announced her intention to resign.
Hill blamed the leaked photos on her "abusive" husband.