The New York Times reported January 26 that Hillary Clinton was accused of protecting a senior campaign aide from a charge of sexual harassment during her 2008 presidential run. The Times reported that Hillary's advisor on faith issues, Burns Strider, was accused of repeatedly sexually harassing a young female subordinate, but instead of firing him from his position, Hillary kept him on, according to four individuals close to the situation.
According to the Times report, in his role as her faith advisor, Strider sent Mrs. Clinton “scripture readings every morning for months during the campaign.” Five years later he was picked to lead a group called Correct the Record, formed to promote the former first lady's 2016 presidential candidacy, but “was fired after several months for workplace issues, including allegations that he harassed a young female aide, according to three people close to Correct the Record’s management.”
The Times reported that the harassment during the 2008 campaign was brought to the attention of Clinton campaign official Jess O’Connell, who recommended that Strider be fired — a recommendation Clinton chose to ignore.
The woman involved reportedly told co-workers that Strider rubbed her shoulders in an inappropriate manner, kissed her on the forehead, and sent her suggestive e-mails, including at least one that arrived during the night.
According to the Times, the woman's complaint was forwarded to Patti Solis Doyle, Clinton's campaign manager, “who approached Mrs. Clinton and urged that Mr. Strider, who was married at the time, be fired, according to the officials familiar with what took place. Mrs. Clinton said she did not want to, and instead he remained on her staff.”
Following the incident, Strider was docked several weeks of pay and ordered to undergo counseling, while the young woman was shifted to a new job in the Clinton campaign. Strider reportedly never followed through on the counseling, and Clinton never addressed why he allowed her “faith advisor” to stay on the job.
However, Clinton was duly prompt in her response to the Times article, posting on Twitter the same day: “A story appeared today about something that happened in 2008. I was dismayed when it occurred, but was heartened the young woman came forward, was heard, and had her concerns taken seriously and addressed.”
Additionally, while there is no mention that Clinton reached out to the young lady at the time of the alleged sexual harassment by Strider, after the Times story appeared, Clinton quickly tweeted that “I called her today to tell her how proud I am of her and to make sure she knows what all women should: we deserve to be heard.”
Fox News noted that since the 2008 incident and Strider's firing from the Hillary-2016 group, “Clinton and Strider seemingly have stayed in touch, with Strider's Twitter account featuring photos of the two of them within the last year.”
Vox.com reported that Strider “is now a founding partner of Eleison Group, a left-learning firm that describes itself as 'the nation’s leading consulting firm committed to creating common ground between the political, business, and non-profit worlds.' Among the groups Strider claims to be advising are the United Methodist Church, Oxfam America, and both the Democratic National Committee and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.”
Photo of Hillary Clinton: Department of Defense