If you weren’t already disgusted by the New York Times‘s explosive story exposing decades of sexual harassment and sexual assault allegations against Harvey Weinstein, then perhaps The New Yorker‘s recent publication (and audio) will do the trick. It certainly has for many women, late night hosts and some men. Even contemporary entertainment powerhouses like Angelina Jolie and Gwyneth Paltrow have come out with stories about Weinstein’s gross alleged behavior. But what about the more powerful among those on the political spectrum — especially those figures who benefited from Weinstein’s financial generosity?
Even President Donald Trump, himself the subject of numerous sexual assault allegations, commented publicly on the accusations against Weinstein. “I’ve known Harvey Weinstein for a long time,” he told reporters. “I’m not at all surprised to see it.” And several Democratic senators have already pledged to donate Weinstein’s previous contributions to women’s organizations.
But what about Trump’s former election rival, Hillary Clinton, or his predecessor, President Barack Obama? Weinstein donated to both of their presidential campaigns, as well as the Democratic Party at-large, and both remained uncharacteristically silent on the matter until Tuesday, when Clinton’s office issued a statement.
“I was shocked and appalled by the revelations about Harvey Weinstein,” it read. “The behavior described by women coming forward cannot be tolerated. Their courage and the support of others is critical in helping to stop this kind of behavior.” As for Obama and his post-White House team, however, no official statement or comment has yet to be publicized.
Despite Clinton’s brief response to the matter, and the all-too-obvious meanings contained therein, many are questioning why it took her five days to say anything. According to a previous CNN report, “Longtime Hillary Clinton aides have been confused by the former secretary of state’s silence on the issue, questioning — in private — why she has not weighed in at all.” Then again, as numbers obtained by the Center for Responsive Politics make somewhat clear, the $1.5 million Weinstein helped raise for the Clintons between 1990 and 2016 may have influenced the former state secretary’s thinking.