Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez said on Sunday that the Democratic party has "never hesitated" to take action against fellow Democrats who have been accused of sexual misconduct.
CNN's "State of the Union" anchor Jake Tapper asked Perez about the allegations against the DNC vice chairman, Rep. Keith Ellison (D., Minn.).
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"So one of the most important movements of the last year or two is the me too movement and the time's up movement, women standing up and saying, men can't treat us like this anymore. The ex-girlfriend of your deputy at the DNC, Congressman Keith Ellison, is accusing him of domestic abuse now, an investigation commissioned by the Minnesota Democratic Party was, quote, unable to substantiate the claim of physical abuse. Is that good enough? What do you say to women in the Democratic Party who say, why is this guy still the vice chair of the DNC?" Tapper asked.
"What I say is that we should always take those complaints seriously and we do, and that's why an investigation was conducted," Perez responded. "That's why Congressman Ellison asked for a House ethics investigation. And Democrats have never hesitated to take action, unlike Republicans."
Ellison’s ex-girlfriend Karen Monahan accused the congressman of hurling insults at her and dragging her out of bed. She claimed the incident occurred in 2016 after Ellison told her to take out the trash. Ellison denied the accusations as "not true" and said the independent investigation into them will prove Monahan's claims are false.
Tapper took issue with Perez's claim that Democrats have always taken action against members of their own party.
"Wait a second. Democrats have never hesitated to take action? Do you mean in the last year, or do you mean historically? Because historically, I could go through a list of people," Tapper said.
"Well, and, again, you saw what happened in Senator Franken's situation. Democrats didn't hesitate to do something, even if it was difficult," Perez said. "Because that was the right thing to do."
"So you mean just in the last year? You're not talking about Ted Kennedy or President Bill Clinton, or, I mean—I only have a couple of minutes left, but—" Tapper asked.
"I'm talking—I've been—Jake, I've been chair of the Democratic Party for the last 18 months," Perez said.
Former President Clinton has been accused by several women of sexual misconduct and most Democrats at the time dismissed the issue as a personal matter.
Tapper asked Perez if he then thought Ellison's accuser was lying.
"I think Keith Ellison's ex-girlfriend deserves to be heard and deserves to be treated with dignity and deserves to have a fair and full investigation, and that's exactly what has been done," Perez said.