Bernie Sanders staffers from 2016 campaign want a meeting with the Vermont Senator to discuss ‘sexual violence’ and the ‘predatory culture’ they claim existed inside his camp
- Staffers circulated a letter asking Senator Bernie Sanders to hold a meeting that includes senior aides
- Letter’s aim was to discuss ‘sexual violence and harassment’ that allegedly took place during the 2016 campaign
- While letter did not mention specific instances or accusations, it is meant to address ‘culture of toxic masculinity’
- Sanders’ longshot campaign in 2016 fell short of defeating the eventual Democratic nominee – Hillary Clinton
More than two dozen male and female staffers from Bernie Sanders’ 2016 presidential campaign want to hold a meeting with the Vermont Senator and his senior aides to ‘discuss the issue of sexual violence and harassment’ that took place during the failed bid for the Democratic nomination.
‘In recent weeks there has been an ongoing conversation on social media, in texts, and in person, about the untenable and dangerous dynamic that developed during our campaign,’ the staffers wrote in a letter obtained by POLITICO.
The letter was not meant to become public, but staffers did confirm the existence of the letter on Sunday.
Friends of Bernie Sanders, the senator’s principal campaign committee, put out a statement in response to queries about the letter.
‘We thank the signers of the letter for their willingness to engage in this incredibly important discussion,’ the statement reads.
‘We always welcome hearing the experiences and views of our former staff.
‘We also value their right to come to us in a private way so their confidences and privacy are respected.
More than two dozen staffers from Bernie Sanders’ 2016 presidential campaign want to hold a meeting with the Vermont Senator and his senior aides to ‘discuss the issue of sexual violence and harassment’ that took place during the failed bid for the Democratic nomination
‘In recent weeks there has been an ongoing conversation on social media, in texts, and in person, about the untenable and dangerous dynamic that developed during our campaign,’ the staffers wrote in a letter
‘And we will honor this principle with respect to this private letter.’
The committee said that during Sanders’ run for re-election in 2018, staffers could have called a toll free hotline run by a third party to report any incidents.
The initial letter did not specify any alleged incidents that took place during the 2016 campaign – nor did it name anyone who is said to have engaged in that sort of behavior.
It was circulated over the weekend among former staffers who added their names in support.
The letter seeks a meeting with top Sanders aides including 2016 campaign manager Jeff Weaver; Chief of Staff Caryn Compton; Deputy Chief of Staff Ari Rabin-Havt; 2018 re-election campaign manager Shannon Jackson; and Arianna Jones, a communications official.
Sanders is also asked to attend.
The staffers said that the letter is hoping to address what they say is a culture of toxic masculinity not just on Sanders’ campaigns but in other campaigns as well.
‘This letter is just a start,’ said one of the organizers who spoke on condition of anonymity.
‘We are addressing what happened on the Bernie campaign but as people that work in this space we see that all campaigns are extremely dangerous to women and marginalized people and we are attempting to fix that.’
Sanders’ 2016 campaign for the Democratic nomination was considered a success, even though he fell short to the eventual nominee, Hillary Clinton.
Initially, Sanders was considered a longshot, but he did manage to win primaries.
Sanders won a large enough chunk of the votes that he gained a following within the Democratic Party, forcing it to adopt a number of his positions.
He is considering another run for the Presidency, though he will likely face stiffer competition in 2020.
Some two dozen senior and former Democratic Party officials, including former Vice President Joe Biden; House Rep. Beto O’Rourke; Senator Kamala Harris; and Senator Corey Booker, among others; are also mulling a presidential bid.