Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) will meet this week with women staffers from his 2016 presidential campaign to discuss their allegations of sexual harassment and a hostile work environment during his prior bid for the presidency.
Last week, The Daily Beast reported that the meeting would soon be taking place with the senator, as his circle had swiftly moved to ensure the men who had been accused of misconduct would not return to the team should Sanders seek the presidency again.
On Monday, BuzzFeed News reported that the meeting will take place on Wednesday, a fact which The Daily Beast confirmed with two sources directly familiar with the meeting. Additionally, according to one source planning to attend, travel is currently being arranged to Washington D.C. for former staffers who plan to attend.
Politico reported last month that alumni from the 2016 run had sought the meeting to “discuss the issue of sexual violence and harassment on the 2016 campaign.”
Former staffers had been discussing stories of these allegations in private for some time until they spilled out into public view via a handful of reported stories. Politico first reported on allegations pertaining to Robert Becker, who oversaw Sanders' Iowa caucus campaign as well as some subsequent primary efforts.
Becker was accused of forcibly kissing a female staffer, ogling prospective hires online, and being involved in a $30,000 settlement related to a federal discrimination complaint. Becker denied the allegations and Friends of Bernie Sanders, the principal campaign committee, said that he would not be part of any prospective campaign.
Additionally, Organizing for Bernie, the outside group mobilizing to push Sanders into another bid, announced that Rich Pelletier, a former national field director, would no longer be part of their effort after concerns were raised in a New York Times story that he inadequately responded to a harassment allegation.
Sanders issued a public apology to the women last week during a press conference saying in part: “To the women in our campaign who were harassed or mistreated I apologize. Our standards, our procedures, our safeguards were clearly inadequate.”