Minutes before Donald Trump’s first State of the Union address, Hillary Clinton took to Facebook to publicly acknowledge a report of her refusing to fire her then-faith advisor Burns Strider for sexual misconduct during her 2008 campaign. Clinton has taken flack for the move from the growing #MeToo movement, which has raised awareness and empowered sexual abuse victims to come forward with their stories safely.
In the Facebook post, Clinton went into detail (without actually saying the name “Burns Strider”) about how she handled the situation and is forthright by saying “If I had it to do again, I wouldn’t.” Clinton then explained the steps she took at the time to mitigate this behavior and its effect on the victim and her staff:
In 2007, a woman working on my campaign came forward with a complaint about her supervisor behaving inappropriately toward her. She and her complaint were taken seriously. Senior campaign staff and legal counsel spoke to both her and the offender. They determined that he had in fact engaged in inappropriate behavior. My then-campaign manager presented me with her findings. She recommended that he be fired. I asked for steps that could be taken short of termination. In the end, I decided to demote him, docking his pay; separate him from the woman; assign her to work directly for my then-deputy-campaign manager; put in place technical barriers to his emailing her; and require that he seek counseling. He would also be warned that any subsequent harassment of any kind toward anyone would result in immediate termination.
I did this because I didn’t think firing him was the best solution to the problem. He needed to be punished, change his behavior, and understand why his actions were wrong. The young woman needed to be able to thrive and feel safe. I thought both could happen without him losing his job. I believed the punishment was severe and the message to him unambiguous