Hillary Clinton took to Facebook on Tuesday just hours ahead of President Donald Trump’s first State of the Union address defending her decision to retain a male campaign worker who sexually harassed a female on staff.
The post comes after the New York Times reported the incident last week.
Clinton wrote in her post that men should be held accountable for their actions and everyone, regardless of gender, should protect women from any abuse.
In the lengthy post, Clinton didn’t, however, reflect or comment on her husband, President Bill Clinton, who lied about his sexual conduct with a White House intern and was accused by several women of sexual assault.
“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,” Clinton wrote. “The short answer is this: If I had it to do again, I wouldn’t.”
Nonetheless, Clinton defends her decision, saying that she thought reprimanding the offender, cutting his pay and access to the victim, and ordering the man to undergo counseling. She also promoted the victim.
“Through it all, I’ve always taken firing very seriously,” Clinton wrote. “Taking away someone’s livelihood is perhaps the most serious thing an employer can do.”
“When faced with a situation like this, if I think it’s possible to avoid termination while still doing right by everyone involved, I am inclined in that direction,” Clinton said. “I do not put this forward as a virtue or a vice – just as a fact about how I view these matters.”
Clinton also wrote that she believes in “second chances” and has been the recipient of those chances.
Clinton said she contacted the woman that once worked on her 2008 campaign to make certain she was doing well despite her experience while working for Clinton.
The Facebook post, though, quickly morphs into a commentary on how others are to blame for the scourge of sexual harassment in the headlines of late, including her own “me too” moment.
“Over the past year, a seismic shift has occurred in the way we approach and respond to sexual harassment, both as a society and as individuals,” Clinton said, adding that it took women from all walks of life coming forward to make this happen.”
My own decision to write in my memoir about my experiences being sexually harassed and physically threatened early in my career – the first time was in college – was more agonizing than it should have been,” Clinton said.
Now, men, Clinton concluded, are “on notice.”
“Men are now on notice that they will truly be held accountable for their actions,” Clinton said. “Especially now, we all need to be thinking about the complexities of sexual harassment, and be willing to challenge ourselves to reassess and question our own views.”
“In other words, everyone’s now on their second chance, both the offenders and the decision-makers,” Clinton added. “Let’s do our best to make the most of it.”
Ironically, Clinton touted her advocacy for women and girls in the post, despite her longstanding support for abortion that has claimed the lives of millions of female babies and Planned Parenthood, which awarded her with its Margaret Sanger award in 2009.