Sanders apologises for harassment by 2016 campaign staff

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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 goal of planning to mitigate the issue in the upcoming presidential cycle".

Some of the top advisers to Sanders told Politico that they're working on a meeting between Sanders and those who signed a letter complaining of harassment on the 2016 campaign trail.

The Vermont independent said on Capitol Hill that the alleged misconduct by male aides "was absolutely unacceptable and certainly not what a progressive campaign or any campaign should be about".

'The allegations that I have heard, that you have heard, speak to unacceptable behavior, that must not be tolerated in any campaign or in any workplace in our country, ' he noted.

"Our standards, our procedures, our safeguards, were clearly inadequate, " Sanders said.

The woman said Becker, now 50, approached her at a bar on the last night of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, grabbed her wrists and kissed her, forcing his tongue in her mouth.

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A top adviser for Bernie Sanders' 2016 presidential campaign stands accused of forcibly kissing a woman staffer and making a reference to her riding his "pole" at a hookah bar after the Democratic National Convention had concluded, Politico reported Wednesday.

"I'm not going to sit here and tell you we did everything right in terms of human resources", said Sanders. Three other people who witnessed the incident or were told about it shortly after confirmed the account to Politico.

A recent report by the New York Times recounts further allegations made by female campaign staffers against some of their male colleagues.

This show of support for a Sanders 2020 presidential run comes hours after the latest in a series of reports of sexual misconduct involving members of the Sanders 2016 campaign. They claimed that, when they detailed those concerns to campaign superiors, they were sometimes ignored, and in one case, laughed off.

Allegations of sexual misconduct and an "untenable and unsafe dynamic that developed during [the Sanders] campaign" have dogged the Vermont senator in recent weeks, according to Politico. Nevertheless, said Bannon, "I think he will run".

But Becker, who is not on Sanders' payroll, has been calling potential staffers and traveling to early primary states over the past several months in moves seen as preparing for a 2020 campaign. He outlined what steps his 2018 Senate re-election campaign had taken to prevent sexual harassment, including training on the issue for all employees.

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