Former presidential candidate Hilary Clinton has released a statement regarding the senior campaign adviser that she allowed to stay on her campaign despite allegations of sexual harassment, saying she would fire him if she had to do it again.
Clinton issued a lengthy statement in a Facebook post published Tuesday, saying that her life’s most important work is to support and empower women.
“I very much understand the question I’m being asked as to why I let an employee on my 2008 campaign keep his job despite his inappropriate workplace behavior,” wrote Clinton. The short answer is this: If I had it to do again, I wouldn’t.”
“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 also said that if she believes it is possible to avoid terminating someone while still doing right by all of the people involved, she is inclined to go in that direction.
During her 2008 campaign, her faith adviser, Burns Strider, was accused of inappropriately touching a female staffer, kissing her on the forehead, and sending her suggestive emails.
Clinton’s campaign manager, Patti Solis Doyle, and the campaign’s national director of operations Jess O’Connell recommended that Strider be fired from the campaign. However, she decided to reduce Strider’s pay and have him attend counseling, while the female staffer was moved to a different job.
In 2013, Strider was later hired by Correct the Record, an independent pro-Clinton group. Several months later, he was fired from the group because of allegations of sexually harassing a young female aide.
In a statement, Clinton’s legal representatives said the campaign policies were implemented in response to the harassment complaint against Strider.