Democratic Senator Kirsten Gillibrand says that, if Bill Clinton’s sex scandal were to occur in modern times, it would be appropriate for him to have resigned from his position.
Ms Gillibrand made the statement during an interview with the , where she was discussing recent allegations that Senator Al Franken groped and forcibly kissed a radio host in 2006. Mr Franken has apologized for his actions, and urged an ethics probe into his behaviour.
“Yes, I think that is the appropriate response,” Ms Gillibrand said after a long pause when asked directly if Mr Clinton should have resigned after his inappropriate relationship with a White House intern was discovered two decades ago.
While an aide to Ms Gillibrand later clarified that Ms Gillibrand was discussing Mr Clinton’s behaviour in a modern context — amid a wave of sexual assault and harassment allegations against powerful men in recent months — the claim was still remarkable given her relationship to the family. She currently holds Hillary Clinton’s old Senate seat, and has cited Ms Clinton as an inspiring figure to her own political career.
“Things have changed today, and I think under those circumstances there should be a very different reaction,” Ms Gillibrand said. “And I think in light of this conversation, we should have a very different conversation about President Trump, and a very different conversation about allegations against him.”
Ms Clinton has been supportive of Ms Clinton in the past, including being an early supporter of her in her 2016 run for president.
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After more than a month of allegations of sexual assault or harassment against powerful men in the entertainment and media industries, the political world became the latest to be embroiled in scandal after Roy S Moore, a candidate for Senate in Alabama, was accused of sexually pursuing a 14-year-old when he was 32. Mr Moore has denied the allegations, but has seen his once strong lead in the race threatened by the allegations.