Sen. Bernie Sanders' top 2016 campaign adviser accused of sexual misconduct

Bernie Sanders at a George Washington University event in Washington

The adviser, Robert Becker, has denied any wrongdoing.

Robert Becker - who oversaw Sanders' campaign in Iowa and, as deputy national field director, subsequently lead the senator's efforts in California, Michigan and NY - allegedly approached the 20-year-old female staffer later that night and grabbed her wrists before forcibly kissing her, the woman and three additional sources cited by Politico claim. She reported the harassment after he contacted her again for a possible 2020 campaign.

Politico's report said the "female staffer did not report the incident immediately because the campaign had just ended at the time of the incident".

The accuser said she did not alert higher-ups on the campaign team about the incident due to the campaign being over. This can't happen in 2020.

"Boy is that a tough answer to defend, of course", responded Todd, "because if you're running to be the president of the United States, If you can't manage a campaign how do you manage a country?" He said he considered the allegation to be credible.

In another blow to the progressive lawmaker, Sanders will not have his trusted campaign manager by his side if he decides to run for president again.

Sanders said his 2018 Senate re-election campaign instituted "some of the strongest sexual harassment policies in the country".

Politico also reported that over a half-dozen staffers who worked with Becker on the 2016 campaign said there was "a pattern of other inappropriate behavior or poor management".

More news: Padraig Harrington to lead Europe at 2020 Ryder Cup at Whistling Straits

Two aides said Becker would look up potential female hires on Facebook to appraise their looks and would occasionally call over other male staffers to join him.

"During the process of routine background checks being conducted, I would occasionally be asked to review potentially questionable or damaging social media posts of potential hires", Becker said in reply to that allegation.

The New York Times reported on allegations by female Sanders aides of mistreatment by male senior staff.

Allegations of sexual harassment on the 2016 Sanders campaign have been an issue for the potential 2020 candidate in recent weeks.

Sen. Sanders addressed the allegations on CNN in a manner that some regarded as dismissive.

As Sanders and surrogates explore a 2020 presidential bid, more than a dozen former female and male staffers who worked on the 2016 campaign signed a letter requesting a meeting with Sanders and his leadership team "to discuss the issue of sexual violence and harassment on the 2016 campaign, for the objective of planning to mitigate the issue in the upcoming presidential cycle".

"To women in our campaign who were harassed or mistreated, I apologise", the Vermont independent wrote in a statement on Twitter on Thursday.

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