Kristen Gillibrand talks sexual harassment

Automatic TRANSCRIPT

Are back here with Senator Kirsten gillibrand in Auburn Hills. Michigan, and I want to ask you a question, and we take a few from the audience very wrap up here. This is a question I get from a lot of people viewers emailing. It has to do with Al Franken. There are people that Email me all the time who are angry at you. Because they feel like you played some kind of untoward role in pushing out l Franken after allegations came out against him. And then in light of New York Times story about a staffer on your staff who complained about sexual harassment from someone else on your staff, and and quit in protest of the handling of that issue, which she felt was not a handled and people have emailed me to say, what is what does the Senator say about her own record when it comes to sexual restaurant. So I believe we as society must value women. It is so important that we value women, which is why when a woman or a man comes forward who has an allegation of sexual assault. Or sexual harassment that you believe them and that you do a full thorough investigation. So that Justice is possible I've been taking on this. 'cause throughout my Senate career whether happens in the US military, where so many survivors are disbelieved did not Justice believe, but then retaliated against I take it on on college campuses because they are colleges across America. Would rather shove it under the rug than have transparency and accountability? I take it on in congress passing with the help of many colleagues, including Ted Cruz. A new sexual harassment Bill for how congress deals with sexual harassment in terms of my own office. The woman who came forward. She was believed her allegations were taken seriously, they were fully investigated thoroughly. And immediately her allegations did not rise to sexual harassment. But we did find evidence of derogatory comments the person that she alleged these against was punished. And this employee was dearly. Valued I told her that she was loved by us by our office by me personally. I hugged her and she was deeply valued. In terms of Senator Franken. This is a very hard issue for so many Democrats because the truth is we miss him and people loved him, but he had eight credible allegations against him of sexual harassment for groping two of them since he was a Senator and the eighth one that came out was a congressional staffer. And I had a choice to make whether to stay silent or not whether to say, it's not okay with me. And I decided to say that now Senator Franken was entitled to whatever type of review or process, he wanted he could have stuck it out stayed in the Senate gone through his ethics committee investigation for as long as he wants for how many months, he could've sued all of the women who came out against him, those were his choices, but I had to make my choice. Now, I am a mother of boys. And the conversations I was having it home at the time. We're very upsetting. Because THEO said to me mom, why are you so tough on L Franken, and as a mother I had to be really clear it is not okay for anyone to grope a woman anywhere on her body without her consent. It is not okay to forcibly kiss a woman ever without her consent. It was not okay for Senator Franken, and it was not okay for you THEO ever. So I needed to have clarity. And if there are a few democratic powerful donors who are angry because I stood up for women who came forward with allegations of sexual harassment. That's on them.

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