Clinton kept aide accused of harassment on 2008 campaign

Image: Former U.S. Secretary of State and 2016 Democratic presidential nomi
Hillary Clinton speaks in Los Angeles on Dec. 15. Copyright Mario Anzuoni Reuters
Copyright Mario Anzuoni Reuters
By Jonathan Allen with NBC News
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Hillary Clinton resisted her campaign manager's call to fire Burns Strider, opting for administrative sanctions instead, NBC News has confirmed.

WASHINGTON — Hillary Clinton resisted her campaign manager's call to fire an aide accused of sexual harassment during her 2008 presidential campaign, NBC News has confirmed. The aide, Burns Strider, was ultimately dismissed from a group helping her 2016 campaign amid similar allegations.

Strider was accused of rubbing the shoulders of a 30-year-old female subordinate, kissing her on the forehead and sending her suggestive emails, The New York Times first reportedFriday. According to The Times, he was sent to counseling and docked pay, while his subordinate was reassigned on the campaign. Another member of Clinton's 2008 campaign staff confirmed the details to NBC News in a series of texts.

Utrecht, Kleinfeld, Fiori, Partners, a law firm that represented Clinton's 2008 campaign, said in a statement that there was "a process to address complaints of misconduct or harassment."

"When matters arose, they were reviewed in accordance with these policies, and appropriate action was taken. This complaint was no exception," the firm said.

Before the 2016 campaign, Strider was hired as the manager at Correct the Record, an outside group that supported Clinton's second bid for the presidency. He was fired from that job after a woman who left the organization had alleged that Strider sent her suggestive messages, demanded that she travel with him, expressed jealousy about her boyfriend and inquired about her schedule, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Correct the Record officials spoke with several other female employees who reported that Strider had made them feel uncomfortable, the person said.

"There was just enough there, plus hearing about the old complaint ... that it resulted in him being fired," the person said.

The Times also first reported that Strider was fired from Correct the Record.

Clinton's 2008 campaign manager, Patti Solis Doyle, declined to comment when reached by NBC News. Strider did not respond to an email seeking comment.

Clinton on Twitter Friday night said "A story appeared today about something that happened in 2008. I was dismayed when it occurred, but was heartened the young woman came forward, was heard, and had her concerns taken seriously and addressed."

Clinton added in a tweet: "I called her today to tell her how proud I am of her and to make sure she knows what all women should: we deserve to be heard."

Strider, a Mississippi native, had formed a personal relationship with Clinton as her faith adviser on the 2008 campaign, and he shared daily inspirational messages with her, sometimes from Scripture and sometimes from her favorite religious thinkers.

He has also worked in the House of Representatives, including stints with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and former Rep. Ronnie Shows, D-Miss.

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