She might have been expecting a sudden uptick in popularity after her cameo appearance on the Grammy Awards Sunday night, but what Hillary Clinton got on Monday was…thrown under the bus.
Clinton’s 2008 campaign manager, Patti Solis Doyle, told CNN Monday morning that Hillary Clinton made the decision to keep an alleged sexual harasser, campaign “faith adviser” Burns Strider, on staff, overruling Doyle, who had decided to terminate him to protect her colleague.
Doyle tells the anchor that she “interviewed all the parties involved. I looked at the evidence. I looked at some emails he had sent. I looked at other documents and came to the conclusion that there was sexual harassment involved; that the young woman was very credible.”
Doyle then said that her “recommendation to the Senator was to fire him.” But that she was “overruled” by Hillary herself.
“I was overruled, yes,” Doyle said in response to the anchor confirming that it had been Hillary who made the final call. “You know, I really don’t want to divulge, you know, my private conversations or my private counsel to Hillary Clinton.” Actually, Doyle has already revealed her private counsel to Clinton. What she really doesn’t want to talk about is Hillary’s response. But as she continued talking you get a sense of what that response might have been.
Doyle goes on to say that firing someone of that stature was, essentially, beyond her pay grade, because Clinton would have to suffer from a negative news cycle while reporters questioned why she let go such a senior campaign aide (even though, at the time, Strider was neither a high-profile employee, nor a known name). Doyle says she “wanted” to fire Strider, but that what she wanted didn’t matter.
Oh, and Doyle says, it made her very concerned as to whether Strider would go on to repeat his behavior — something he did, apparently, over and over on both Clinton’s 2008 and 2016 campaigns (where he served as the head of the campaign’s closely allied PAC, “Correct the Record”).
“I wanted to protect my team. I wanted to protect this young woman,” Doyle said. “I wanted to send a message that this kind of behavior is not okay. I wanted to make sure that other women, and men for that matter, could feel comfortable and free to speak up if something were to happen to them, if there were another incident.”
That can’t be a good comment for Clinton, who has been piling accolades on the young woman who complained about her own staffer for days on Twitter, praising her courage in coming forward with her story; it means Clinton’s own top deputy blames Hillary for failing to protect a vulnerable member of her staff.