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2020: Gillibrand to Launch Campaign in Front of Trump Tower

Protesters of President Donald Tump's national emergency declaration gather outside Trump International Hotel & Tower on Friday, Feb. 15, 2019, in New York. Some people have been arrested at the protest. The NYPD wasn't immediately able to say how many people were taken into custody. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)
AP Photo/Frank Franklin II
TONY LEE

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) formally entered the 2020 presidential race on Sunday and announced that she will hold her campaign kickoff event in front of Trump International Hotel & Tower in New York next week.

“Sign up here to join us for Kirsten Gillibrand’s historic 2020 campaign kickoff at Trump International Tower in New York,” the announcement for the March 24 event reads. “We’re bringing the fight to Trump’s doorstep in Columbus Circle, where we’ll hear from special guest speakers and cheer on Kirsten as she lays out her vision for our country. All are welcome.”

Her campaign said she will deliver “her positive, brave vision of restoring America’s moral integrity straight to President Trump’s doorstep” and Gillibrand’s campaign video depicted her as the “brave” candidate at a time when “brave” is not winning.

“Our anthem calls America ‘the home of the brave.’ But we don’t realize that the lyrics first pose it as a question: ‘O say does that star-spangled banner yet wave O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave?’ It asks, ‘Will brave win?’ Well, it hasn’t always. And it isn’t right now,” Gillibrand says in the video. “Brave doesn’t pit people against one another. Brave doesn’t put money over lives. Brave doesn’t spread hate, cloud truth, build a wall. That’s what fear does.”

Gillibrand was setting herself up to be the #MeToo candidate in the 2020 field. She led the charge to get rid of former Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) after harassment allegations were made against him and even said that former President Bill Clinton should have resigned after the Monica Lewinsky affair.

But her brand took a huge blow when Politico reported that a 20-something former female staffer of Gillibrand’s resigned last year in protest over how Gillibrand’s office handled her allegations that a top male Gillibrand confidant harassed her.

Gillibrand kept Abbas Malik, the top staffer whose wedding she reportedly officiated, on staff for eight months after the female staffer resigned.

Gillibrand reportedly only fired Malik after Politico confronted her office, after having reached out to more than 20 former staffers, with claims of even more “inappropriate workplace conduct,” which allegedly included making rape jokes.

“When I had the courage to speak up about my harasser, I was belittled by her office and treated like an inconvenience,” the accuser told Politico.

In her resignation letter, the accuser reportedly wrote that she was offering her “resignation because of how poorly the investigation and post-investigation was handled.”

“I hope your office will choose to handle cases like this with more sensitivity and understanding in the future,” she reportedly added.

Gillibrand’s office said they conducted an initial investigation and Malik was given a “final warning” after the investigation, which ultimately concluded Malik’s conduct, “while inappropriate, did not meet the standard for sexual harassment.

Gillibrand’s office then said her office fired Malik after it “immediately began another investigation and interviewed relevant witnesses” after it “learned of never-before-reported and deeply troubling comments allegedly made by” Malik.

The New York Senator announced in January on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert that she was forming an exploratory committee but her candidacy has failed to register at all during the last two months.

Gillibrand received 0% in the latest CNN/Des Moines Register Iowa poll that was released last weekend and got less than 1% in last week’s national Monmouth University poll, trailing even Andrew Yang, a Democrat who has barely received any national media attention for his upstart candidacy.

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