After plenty of late-week ruckus over Hillary Clinton insulating a 2008 campaign advisor who was accused of sexual harassment, Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) is striking a starkly different tune. The former (and possibly future) Republican presidential candidate announced on Saturday night that he has fired his chief of staff, Clint Reed, for “improper conduct” with his subordinate staffers.
In a statement first published by NBC affiliate First Coast News (of Jacksonville, Florida), Rubio stated that he took action within hours of hearing about mounting allegations against Reed. The senator said that he personally flew from Florida to D.C. to terminate Reed, who he suggests also threatened the affected subordinates over employment benefits:
“By early this afternoon, I had sufficient evidence to conclude that while employed by this office, my Chief of Staff had violated office policies regarding proper relations between a supervisor and their subordinates. I further concluded that this led to actions which in my judgment amounted to threats to withhold employment benefits.”
Rubio’s statement also stresses that the subordinates in question will have “access to any services they may require now or in the future,” and per requests from those staffers, Rubio won’t be discussing the any details about the misconduct that was allegedly carried out by Reed.
Politico notes that Reed (who joined Rubio’s staff during the 2016 presidential campaign) has been replaced on an interim basis by Jessica Fernandez, who has served on Rubio’s staff for several years and currently serves as his deputy chief of staff.